October 3, 2022
State university graduation rate continues to climb

Florida Trend Education

State university graduation rate continues to climb

| 9/15/2022

State university graduation rate continues to climb

Florida higher-education officials say the state university system’s four-year graduation rate is on pace to increase to 65 percent by 2025, as an upward trend in producing graduates continues. The number of first-time-in-college students who graduated from the same institution where they started has gradually increased over the past five years, according to a presentation given to the university system’s Board of Governors on Tuesday. [Source: News Service of Florida]

As Florida’s top universities rise, many low-income students are left out

Florida’s top public universities are on a roll. The surge has helped make Florida the No. 1 state for higher education, according to U.S. News, based on graduation rates, lower tuition and other factors. But prestige comes at a cost. The higher these schools strive, the less accessible they’ve become. The percentage of students from low-income families at Florida’s three “preeminent” public universities is shrinking, according to state and federal data that tracks “access rates.” Experts say the state’s push for performance and its keen focus on metrics may be to blame. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Column: I’m a USF senior and here’s why I sued to stop Florida’s Stop WOKE Act

A few days ago, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression filed a lawsuit on behalf of USF history professor Adriana Novoa, a USF student organization called the First Amendment Forum — and me. Our complaint challenges the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (Stop WOKE) Act, passed by the Florida Legislature as HB 7 and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis this spring. I’m suing over the Stop WOKE Act because I believe it violates my First Amendment right to be free from what the Supreme Court has called a “pall of orthodoxy” on a public university campus. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Supercomputer helps Florida researchers tackle daunting problems

A supercomputer housed at the University of Florida is being used by researchers at multiple state universities to address some of Florida’s most-pressing agricultural and environmental problems. The computer, known as HiPerGator, went live in early 2021 and is touted by higher-education officials as the 22nd-fastest supercomputer in the world. The $50 million supercomputer was a gift to the university from NVIDIA, a Silicon Valley-based tech firm, and company co-founder Chris Malachowsky, a University of Florida graduate. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Amid a U.S. teacher shortage, Florida turns to military veterans

So many Florida teachers have abandoned their profession in recent years that the state is inviting military veterans with no prior teaching experience to lead classrooms while they earn education credentials. Elsewhere across the United States as school resumed this August and September, districts have beamed virtual teachers into classrooms from several states away and offered bonuses to lure back retirees. [Source: Reuters]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Colleges in North Central Florida receive millions in funding for building maintenance
“We’re grateful to the state for such an incredible gift.” Colleges and universities received state funding from the Deferred Building Maintenance Program, which will cover school upgrades and renovations. The State Legislative Budget Committee approved millions of dollars worth of funds to more than 40 schools in the state, including the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, College of Central Florida, and Florida Gateway College.

› FIU is turning 50, a long way from its former airfield days. 10 things to know about it
At 10:57 a.m. on Sept. 14, 1972, Florida International University’s first president, Charles Perry, stood in front of Primera Casa, the converted control tower of the old Tamiami Airport and the first building on the main campus, and declared the university officially inaugurated. “This is a proud and joyful moment in the life of this institution of higher education, but our work to date is only the beginning,” Perry announced to a crowd of hundreds, according to a book titled “A History of Florida International University” by Thomas D. Riley. Classes would start a few days later.

› UNF, Johnson & Johnson Vision partner for research
The University of North Florida Department of Chemistry unveiled an addition and renovation to improve teaching and research spaces Sept. 9 and announced a partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision in the investment of new equipment and support for undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry students. The addition and renovations include about 20,000 square feet of space comprising six new research labs, three new teaching labs, a computer lab, a classroom, student study areas and a locker room.

› Pasco School Board adopts $1.8B budget with tax rate decrease
Pasco County property owners will see their school tax rate decrease for a ninth consecutive year, even as the school district’s budget grows by 22%. The School Board on Monday approved a $1.8 billion spending plan that reduces the local property tax rate to $5.52 per $1,000 of taxable value. The rate was $5.81 per $1,000 a year ago, and $7.37 in 2013.

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As Hillsborough turns schools into shelters, cafeteria workers start cooking
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