To help 2.2 million Floridians who started but didn’t finish college, a new online partnership of 11 state and private institutions – including the University of Central Florida – intends to help them earn their degrees.
The new Complete Florida program offers 50 accelerated degrees and certificates ranging from information technology to health care business. The program is led by the University of West Florida’s Innovation Institute and funded by the Florida Legislature.
By 2018, about 60 percent of the jobs in Florida are expected to require postsecondary credentials beyond a high school diploma. With this in mind, the State University System of Florida, the Florida College System and the Florida Legislature have made it a priority to increase the percentage of Floridians with a postsecondary degree. Complete Florida is designed to addresses this gap, and priority will be given to veterans and active-duty military.
“Complete Florida’s goal is to get adults back to school and help them meet their educational and professional goals,” said Pam Northrup, executive director of UWF’s Innovation Institute. “Ultimately, we want to connect graduates with job opportunities in Florida.”
Personal coaches will act as advocates working to integrate students’ existing college credits and prior learning experiences into their program of study. The coaches help students fit courses into busy schedules and align skills and interests to programs and jobs.
Complete Florida is rolling out over the next few months, and UCF’s courses will be: Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice and English Technical Communication, and Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice, Health Services Administration, Nursing, and Technical Education and Industry Training. The other partners are Barry University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Hodges University, Indian River State College, Palm Beach Atlantic University, St. Petersburg College, St. Thomas University and University of West Florida.
Scholarships and financial-aid opportunities are available for qualified students. For additional information on the degree programs offered through Complete Florida, visit www.completeflorida.org.