Prof. Karen Cowden. M.A. Ed

Professor of English: Developmental Education Specialist/Certified Professional Writer/Certified Digital Professor

I am here to collaborate with you along your learning path in college - and make it fun! I earned my Associate of Arts degree from Valencia Community College in 1991 graduating with Honors. Then, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Florida State University, with a minor in Journalism from Florida A&M University in 1993 graduating with Honors. After this schooling, I began work in Public Relations for McDonald's Education Division; then, I opened my own preschool and finally worked for the world's largest architectural firm writing proposals. I decided to return for more education and earned my Masters of Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida in 2003, with a specialization in Children’s Literacy and Course Design graduating with Honors. With this degree, I chose to work in public education as a 3rd, 5th, and 9th-grade teacher with Orange County Public Schools. It was a fun five and a half years of service! After I chose to resign, an opportunity arose to work with Valencia College in their Developmental Reading division and I have been a faculty member since January 2007. Now, I hold various roles within the college (and even outside of the college). I love my job and it is a fun place!

As I was once a Valencia College (Valencia Community College back then) graduate I am proud to share my experiences in learning and growing with you. It is a wonderful place to start and if you allow it to happen. Take the opportunities for the clubs, free events, tutoring, and more offered through our college - you will develop the 4 core competencies (Think, Value, Communicate, Act) making you a "catch" for an employer.

In my office hangs a sign, "Dreams do come true!" and I believe my dreams occurred because of a lot of hard work and attending to the "5P Rule" - Prior Planning Prevents a Poor Performance. Writing is the most solid way to preserve and present your intelligence to the world. So, it makes sense that Freshman Composition is one of the required courses for almost all degrees. I want your voice heard and honored!

Whether you take my course in Education, English, or English for Academic Purposes my goal is to provide quality content that builds your skills and supports our community. So, in my courses, you will have many readings and reflections. I respect that "YouTube" and other videos are great at developing background knowledge. However, mastery comes from personal practice - and good old-fashioned "getting your hands dirty". I am a regular fan of using tools to accomplish goals - and even hung ceiling fans took apart boat seats, and built a business. Now, I use other tools to help in this trade.

One of my favorite things is to share the world with my son through readings, activities, and travel. Plus, cooking and laughing! We have a fun, playful, and collaborative family.

I hope to provide you many tools to help you plan and write more professionally. Further, I fully believe in the Peace and Justice Principles and want to honor your voice and unique learning styles. If at any time you feel lost, overwhelmed, or have something amazing to share, I am here.

Spread Joy,

Karen Cowden, M.A. Ed./Developmental Education Specialist/Certified Professional Writer,
Professor of English/Developmental Reading and Writing


West Campus


Connect with Me: Zoom or Canvas Messenger

Need help?: HELP IS AVAILABLE: Make an appointment with a Senior Lab Instructor in the Communications Center for support with skills: