Polk State College: First Year Experience and Guided Pathways

Polk State College launched the First Year Experience (FYE) to improve retention and completion of first-time-in-college students (FTIC). FYE is a comprehensive onboarding program designed to help students acclimate to the College, engage in success activities, develop a sense of belonging, and experience timely completion of academic goals.  FYE includes First Flight Freshmen Welcome, Mission Book, Parent Orientation, First Year Seminar, Peer Mentoring, Student Orientation Academic Readiness Sessions, Freshmen Read, Success Coaching and Guided Pathways. The College implemented the American Association of Community Colleges’ Guided Pathways Model to increase the success of all students and to address equity issues for under-represented minorities.  FTICs are exposed to Guided Pathways at Pre-Advising and at First Flight Freshmen Welcome. 

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota: Collaborative Partnerships = Enhanced Industry Talent

Talent recruitment, training and retention in the manufacturing field has been a challenge throughout the country. In the Manatee-Sarasota counties, the result has been a workforce gap which the region has been addressing in several ways.  Creating collaborative partnerships with local employers and agencies such as CareerSource Suncoast, CareerEdge and others has led to a variety of successful workforce partnerships that have resulted in employee retention, employee promotion and skills upgrade. State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota has partnered with PGT Industries, a nationally known manufacturer of custom windows and doors, to provide training for employees to earn their Manufacturing Skills Standard Certification as Certified Production Technicians. 

Eastern Florida State College: Next Gen Apprenticeship Takes Flight

Demand for a highly technical and skilled workforce on Florida’s Space Coast is at a critical stage, and although the Space Coast economy is currently doing very well, the biggest challenge is making sure there is a qualified workforce.  Local and statewide industry have expressed concern about the scarcity of trained individuals in advanced manufacturing techniques and the practices used in digital operations. Rather than depend on traditional four-year training and educational programs, many industries are turning to work-based learning and apprenticeship models to fill workforce needs. To improve the quality of the workforce, the Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program (SCCAP) was formed in 2018 and collaborated with Eastern Florida State College to develop a Floridian Department of Education Registered Apprenticeship Program, focusing on three advanced manufacturing areas critical to the participating companies. Working with SCCAP, Eastern Florida State College has developed strong industry partnerships in a sector critical to economic and national security priorities. 

Florida SouthWestern State College: The Collegiate Institute: Providing Access to Dual Enrollment

Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) sought to increase student achievement and college and career success by establishing an innovative, supportive, inclusive collegiate model that incorporated a small school design with a focus on college-preparedness for school districts that do not have access to dual enrollment opportunities. Following the nation’s leading research on the establishment of a collegiate program, FSW modeled a collegiate program after two successful, state-ranked FSW Collegiate High Schools, located in Lee and Charlotte counties. FSW Collegiate Institute (CI) at Clewiston High School began operating in the 2017-2018 school year in partnership with the Hendry County School District. The CI provides a school-within-a-school model, where FSW faculty provide full instruction on the high school campus. Students have the opportunity to earn an Associates of Arts degree by high school graduation at no cost to them. The CI allows for students who rely on traditional school transportation to attend college courses during their regularly scheduled school day with built-in academic support, office hours, and other college-readiness programming in a supervised, supported learning environment.