Higher Education in Florida
Colleges and universities around Florida are trying new programs tailored to a changing workforce and student needs.
Valencia College, a state college based in Orlando, began a “weekend college” last year in which students earn an associate’s degree in classes offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at its east Orlando campus. The degree can be earned in six semesters.
Valencia “weekend college” students can earn a degree in six semesters.
Hodges physical therapy students
Hodges University opened a new student union in Fort Myers and added a two-year degree program in physical therapy assistant. Hodges also teaches 300 to 400 people a year English as a second language — immigrant engineers, doctors and lawyers, students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in some field and just local people in places such as Immokalee.
Beacon College, the only four-year accredited college exclusively for students with learning disabilities such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Asperger’s syndrome, is expanding with a new administration and classroom building under construction, some recently acquired buildings in downtown Leesburg, plans for a 150-unit student housing project and, longer term, a new education facility.
University of Florida
The University of Florida debuts its new school year for 500 students. Called the Innovation Academy, the group begins its school year in January and continues through the summer, with students getting the fall off. UF is using the program to increase capacity by spreading out the demand for resources such as classroom space evenly through the year. Eventually, 2,000 will be enrolled in the academy, which will be their small-college home — complete with special programs — within the university for their careers, doing their internships, online classes and study abroad in the fall. UF thinks it’s the first in the nation to offer such an approach.
|Making the Cut
Average scores for entering freshmen at the state's 11 public universities.
|Test||Fall 2009||Fall 2010||Fall 2011|
|SAT (math and verbal)||1,156||1,172||1,172|
|Source: Board of Governors|