In its first full year, the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, a partnership between Florida International University, University of Central Florida and University of South Florida delivered key achievement on their collaborative efforts. For example, members of the career readiness team designed a Virtual Career Fair program that brought 70 employers including AT&T, Verizon and The Mayo Clinic along with over 1,800 students/alumni for over 700 career related discussions. Campus workshops and career resources that were specific to each campus were also made available to all students from Florida Consortium universities.

Also noteworthy, 75 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) faculty investigated and developed a lengthy list of improvements that included:

  • A STEM First-Year Experience course and summer Bootcamp to help STEM majors succeed in introductory science and math courses
  • The team also proposed a proficiency exam for pre-calculus and stretching Calculus over two semesters because Calculus is often “the” barrier to advancing in STEM fields of study
  • The group also took a critical look at General Chemistry course requirements to help prepare students to succeed in Organic Chemistry, another important course for STEM fields of study
  • During the first year, the Communications Departments from Florida Consortium member universities joined forces to weigh the benefits of offering summer courses on each other’s campuses, course alignment, and ways to grant early access to graduate communications programs.

    “Identifying barriers and sharing insights on student intervention programs could be game changers for our students, our regions and our state at large. By working together, we can help more students stay on track to succeed in college and beyond.” said Michael Preston, executive director for the Florida Consortium.

    The Florida Consortium partnered with Helios Education Foundation, Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Kresge Foundation to support inter-campus collaboration, fund investigative research and advance proposals.

    “The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities is a cornerstone of Helios’ work in Florida. The focus on wrap-around student services, shared best practices and predictive analytics has the potential to propel numerous first-generation, under represented Florida students toward the completion of a postsecondary degree.” Braulio Colon, vice president, Florida Student Success Initiatives, Helios Education Foundation.

    The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities discussed the first year results and roadmap of joint projects during the Presidents Council meeting on September 22, 2016.

    About Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities:

    The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities is the first of its kind collaboration in higher education. The Florida Consortium is comprised of Florida International, University of Central Florida, and University of South Florida, the state’s largest research universities that account for 167,000 students or 48 percent of the State University System of Florida enrollment. The Florida Consortium is focused on producing more career ready graduates with lower debt and adaptable skills that employer’s value.

    To view the first annual report for the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, visit:

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    Photo: President’s Council Group_20160922_142054 (1) featured left to right

    1. Executive Director Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, Michael Preston Ed. D
    2. Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of South Florida System/USF Tampa Campus, Ralph Wilcox, Ph.D.
    3. UCF, Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Services, Maribeth Ehasz, Ph.D.
    4. President, Florida International University, Mark B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
    5. President, University of Central Florida, John C. Hitt, Ph.D.
    6. President, University of South Florida System and President of University of South Florida, Judy Genshaft, Ph.D.
    7. Provost, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kenneth G. Furton, Ph.D.
    8. Vice President for Academic Affairs, FIU, Elizabeth Bejar, Ph.D.
    9. Vice Provost for Student Success, USF, Paul Dosal, Ph.D
    10. President and CEO at Helios Education Foundation, Paul Luna
    11. Vice President, Florida Regional Student Success, Braulio Colon