National Community College Month

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Press Release: Florida Department of Education

Tallahassee, Fla., April 1, 2013 – April is National Community College Month and the Florida College System (FCS) plans to celebrate 55 years of innovation, achievements, and successes throughout the month.

Governor Rick Scott said, “A great education is critical to providing students job opportunities after graduation, which is why my budget invests $1.1 billion for Florida colleges. It’s through innovations like the $10K Degree Challenge that the Florida College System helps Florida families pursue their dreams.” View the Governor’s proclamation about FCS Month.

The primary mission of the FCS is to provide access to high-quality affordable education that prepares students for continued education or jobs. Florida’s 28 colleges operate 181 sites throughout the state and serve nearly a million Floridians. Colleges offer a dynamic array of educational opportunities, including adult education, developmental education, vocational certificates, associate and baccalaureate degrees, and community education.

Here are a few FCS highlights:

· The FCS is proud to serve all students: 63 percent are part-time, 55 percent are minority, 59 percent are female, and the average student age is 26.

· Two-thirds of high school graduates enrolling in postsecondary education in Florida enroll in the FCS.

· Through Florida’s strong 2+2 articulation system, FCS associate in arts graduates are guaranteed admission into one of the great state universities in Florida. Fifty-four percent of juniors and seniors in state universities transferred from the FCS.

One-hundred percent of FCS institutions that offer bachelor’s degrees have accepted Governor Rick Scott’s challenge to work to develop bachelor’s degrees costing students no more than $10,000.
Eighty-eight percent of FCS graduates are continuing their education or employed within one year of graduation.
The average starting salary of FCS bachelor’s degree graduates is $46,186. The average starting salary of FCS associate in science degree graduates is $44,095.
Students enjoy an attractive 16.8 percent average rate of return on their educational investment, recovering all costs (including tuition, fees and lost earning potential while in school) in 9.1 years.
The total effect of the FCS on the Florida economy, based on student productivity gains, college operations, and student spending, is $26.6 billion.
“The greatest economic driver is quality postsecondary education,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. “By providing top-notch workforce training, affordable associate and bachelor’s degrees, and transfer opportunities, the Florida College System continually proves its commitment to student success. I applaud our college students, faculty and staff on their hard work and many accomplishments.”

“During April, we will reflect on the role the Florida College System plays in the state of Florida and in our local communities,” said FCS Chancellor Randy Hanna. “I am extremely proud of our students and proud of the commitment and contributions of our colleges. The Florida College System will continue to offer access to high-quality educational opportunities for all Floridians.” View Chancellor Hanna’s FCS Month welcome address.

To learn more information, visit FCS or FCS Facebook.

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