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UCF receives Best Practices Award for Work
With Community Colleges

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UCF Award Winners pictured left to right are: Dr. Kevin Mulholland, dean, Valencia Community College; Dr. Jennifer Platt, associate dean, UCF; Dr. Sandra L. Robinson, dean, UCF; and Dr. David Imig, President and CEO, AACTE

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) recently selected the University of Central Florida (UCF) to receive its Best Practices Award for Collaboration with Community Colleges.

"While tuition at our state universities remains among the lowest in the country, their programs continue to shine on the national stage," said Board of Governors Chairwoman Carolyn Roberts. "I applaud the efforts of our universities and congratulate them on the vital role they play in preparing Florida for the 21st Century."

UCF received its Best Practices Award for Collaboration with Community Colleges during an Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 at AACTE's 56th Annual Meeting in Chicago. Graduates of the 785 institutional members of the AACTE comprise approximately 90 percent of the nation's new teachers each year. UCF was specifically recognized for a program with Valencia Community College called Creating Opportunities and Resources for Educators (CORE), which seeks to address the critical shortage of qualified teachers by assisting non-instructional staff, such as school district paraprofessionals, to pursue teaching degrees.

"CORE is a perfect example of our seamless K-20 system at work — a state university partnering with a community college to address the need for K12 teachers," said Education Commissioner Jim Horne. "I commend those involved in the program and extend my congratulations on their award."

"Universities across Florida provide incredible opportunities in a wide variety of program areas," said Chancellor Debra Austin of the Division of Colleges and Universities. "Their achievement is worthy of praise and, with the Governor's commitment to access and quality in higher education, our university system will continue to excel."

"UCF has been and continues to be a crucial partner with our colleges and centers of workforce education," said Community Colleges Chancellor J. David Armstrong. "In 1968, UCF and Brevard Community College partnered to create the first concurrent-use program - a tradition that continues to today." According to Armstrong, UCF's partnerships with community colleges account for approximately one-fourth of all concurrent-use/joint-use programs and approximately 20 percent of the total enrollment in these programs. "Congratulations to UCF," said Armstrong. "They have certainly earned the honor."

For more information on the University of Central Florida, visit www.ucf.edu.