Pressure mounting for schools and universities to stay open
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made his position clear; he doesn’t want schools to close their doors despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, faculty at universities are expecting a return to face-to-face learning in the spring. The moves are being denounced by unions representing K-12 and higher ed staff. “Whatever the future may hold, school closures should be off the table,” said Governor DeSantis during a Tuesday news conference. More from WCTV and Click Orlando.
They’re bringing computer science to the classroom — opening doors in lucrative field
Close your eyes and think about a tech entrepreneur. Most people would picture Mark Zuckerberg, and that’s a problem, particularly for girls and black and brown boys who can’t imagine technology as a career for people who look like them. Yet in Florida, only 30% of public schools teach even a foundational computer science course, much less anything more advanced. Yet there are thousands of open computing jobs in the state and the average salary for computing occupations, about $83,000, is almost double the state’s average salary for all occupations. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Valencia College broadens training to fuel the worker pipeline
While Central Florida is grappling with high unemployment and uncertainty in the tourism industry, demand for workers is still strong and growing in manufacturing, construction and distribution/logistics. To help feed the worker pipeline, Valencia College is ramping up its short-term training and degree programs. [Source: Florida Trend]
Can't get to campus? Take a virtual tour
Students can't do in-person campus visits and tours because of the pandemic. So, nearly 200 colleges from 39 states and nine countries are part of the Collegewise virtual college fair. It includes six schools from Florida: Florida Memorial, Florida Southern College, Full Sail University, Lynn University, Saint Leo University and the University of South Florida. [Source: WTSP]
The University of South Florida said Thursday it will phase out undergraduate programs in its College of Education and restructure it to become a graduate school. The move, attributed to budget cuts, sent shock waves across local education circles as USF’s College of Education has traditionally been a major training ground for teachers in the region’s K-12 schools. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› VT MAE turns to George Stone Technical College to meet demand for workers [Florida Trend]
ST Engineering Aerospace decided to build a large repair facility in Pensacola largely because so many ex-military personnel with aircraft maintenance experience live in the area. But while the pool of experienced veterans created the initial backbone of the Singapore-based company’s Pensacola workforce, the company still needed more workers.
› Hillsborough School Board meets as teachers scramble for new jobs [Tampa Bay Times]
A plan by Hillsborough County school officials to cut $57 million in payroll costs ran into strong opposition Tuesday evening as teachers, parents and students showed up to complain to the School Board. A group of students from Walker Middle School turned out to advocate for a history teacher, a math teacher and a music teacher. Superintendent Addison Davis told them the music teacher will be allowed to stay, thanked them for their advocacy, and promised “first-round draft picks teachers" in all of their classrooms.
› FSU Panama City to offer free tuition to Florida students with family incomes of $50,000 or less [FSU News]
Florida State University Panama City announced a new scholarship program today that will provide tuition free education for qualified Northwest Florida students with combined family and student income of $50,000 or less or are eligible for Pell Grants. The FSU PC Promise Scholarship will take effect spring 2021 and will guarantee that full-time resident undergraduates whose families have an adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less will not pay tuition and fees. The new scholarship will apply to new, returning and transfer students.
› Florida Poly students working with U.S. military to solve tech challenges [Florida Politics]
Students at Florida Polytechnic University are joining forces to identify solutions to some of the U.S. military’s most pressing challenges. Hacking for Defense (H4D) is a program of the Department of Defense’s National Security Innovation Network (NSIN.) It challenges students at some of the nation’s top universities to find solutions to a wide variety of the military’s communications, logistics, and modernization problems.