UCF President John C. Hitt, Valencia Community College President Sandy Shugart and other academic, community and architecture leaders celebrated the inaugural class of the unique new UCF architecture program on Friday, Oct. 15.

Forty-one students are enrolled in the 2+2+2 partnership program. Students take two years of architecture classes at Valencia’s West Campus and receive an associate’s degree before completing the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program at UCF Valencia West.

Graduates can then remain in Central Florida to pursue a master’s degree in Architecture by enrolling in the University of Florida’s College of Design research center, Citylab-Orlando, in UCF’s downtown Center for Emerging Media.

UCF Provost Tony Waldrop, College of Arts and Humanities Dean José Fernandez and Architecture Program Director John Maudlin-Jeronimo also attended Friday’s celebration. They recognized the region’s growing architecture community in addition to the Valencia-UCF-UF partnership.

The local chapter of the American Institute of Architects has worked closely with Valencia, UCF and UF to develop the program, which will prepare students for a variety of careers, including professional architecture, construction management and industrial design.

For more information, visit www.architecture.ucf.edu.