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Best Practices in the Florida College System

The Division of Florida Colleges' Best Practices webpage provides information to assist college leaders in developing innovative solutions for the challenges facing their respective institutions. This information may be utilized to learn about new techniques, improve processes, create new programs, enhance outreach and make current programs more effective. This site also allows users to access information about successful programs and strategies while sharing knowledge about exemplary programs within the Florida College System.

Best Practices Definition

Best Practices are defined as strategies, activities or approaches that have been shown through research and evaluation to be effective and/or efficient. The Florida College System, which is regarded as a model for the nation, recognizes programs that strive to be the most innovative in the system. Best Practices can be new or refined programs relevant to (but are not limited to) the following: academic affairs, student affairs, workforce education, business, economic development, technology, innovation and administration.

Criteria for Submission

Best Practices submissions must cover the following:
  • Program or strategy must have been in operation at a Florida College System institution for at least two years OR has been identified or recognized publicly and/or has received awards, honors or mentions.
  • Program has met or set new standards or introduced innovative practices
  • Program has led to quality or process improvement, improved efficiency, lowered costs or addressed a particular problem within the institution.
  • Program outcomes have been evaluated and documented.
  • Program shows results that are sustainable over a period of time.
  • Program has broad impact, applicability, and provides benefits to educational practice that are adaptable beyond the current setting in which it was implemented.

Guidelines and Procedures for Best Practices Submissions

  • Step 1: Identify a Best Practice at your college.
  • Step 2: Seek approval of Best Practice through a college-designated authority. The college president is the default designated authority. He or she may appoint a college-designated authority to approve Best Practices submission(s).
  • Step 3: Upon approval, designated authority submits a completed Best Practice Form to Liam McClay at . Directions for submission are listed on the form. The deadline for all Best Practices submissions is Thursday, August 29, 2013. Each institution may present up to two (2) Best Practices.
  • Step 4: Once received, the Division of Florida Colleges will confirm receipt and approval of the Best Practices program with the designated authority.
  • Step 5: The Division of Florida Colleges will review program content.
  • Step 6: Colleges chosen for Best Practices will be notified by the Chancellor's Office once official selections have been determined.
  • Step 7: The 2013 Best Practices submissions will be placed on the website following the 64th Annual Association of Florida Colleges Convention where the winners of this year's Best Practices will be announced during opening session.

View Best Practices

To view past Best Practices submissions, view the archive (PDF, 2MB).

Best Practices Submission

2013 Best Practice Winners:

View the Chancellor's Best Practice Awards video on YouTube.

Gaming Unlocks Virtual Technology in the Sciences: Florida Gateway College

Florida Gateway College's three full-time anatomy and physiology faculty members (all medical doctors) requested BodyViz software to enable student learning through the use of a visual environment with game-like controllers. The system enables students to view and manipulate real-life MRI images to manipulate them in a 3-D environment. The use of this software has increased interest in anatomy and physiology, made allied health students more prepared, and enabled the college to reach and support its community. This software creates an environment for the student where the data are "real," and it provides students with the advantage of understanding actual patient studies - CTs and MRI's - widely used for the diagnosis of different diseases.

Project Win-Win (Return to the River): Indian River State College

College completion is a key priority at Indian River State College (IRSC), in the Florida College System and across the nation. Project Win-Win - known at IRSC as Return to the River - is a research-based, highly successful approach to identifying students who left college before earning degrees and bringing them to degree completion. IRSC ran a file of 11,000 former students against the university system and the National Student Clearinghouse to identify those who had some college credit but no degree. The Project Win-Win team created a data tracking system, sent out communications to the students and recruited them back to earn a degree with outstanding results: 72 percent were confirmed for completion (860 students) or re-enrolled (351 students) over a two-year period.

Test Prep Boot Camp: Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College offered intensive one-week boot camps in reading, writing and mathematics for first-time-in-college, direct entry from high school students who scored into developmental education. The college implemented the pilot program in summer 2012, with full implementation in summer 2013. The goals of the boot camps were three-fold: to reduce or eliminate the need for developmental courses; to prepare students to complete successfully the placement test; and to increase readiness for college-level courses. The content of the courses is modularized and supported by computer software programs. Students take a diagnostic the first day of class, from which a personalized learning plan is developed based on individual skill gaps. Instructors are trained in both pedagogy and technology to promote the highest level of student achievement.

Student Assistance Program: Maximizing Student Success through a Public-Private Partnership: Pasco-Hernando Community College

In 2007, Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC) partnered with BayCare Life Management to form the first public-private joint initiative among Florida colleges to outsource student counseling services. The outsourcing of student counseling services, through the Student Assistance Program (SAP), addresses the growing mental, emotional and behavioral challenges that impede upon students' learning, persistence and college completion rates. The success of the program has been evident by an increase in student persistence, graduation rates, and the feelings of safety and security among students, staff, and faculty as indicated by monthly and annual assessments. The PHCC-SAP has served as the template and model that has been emulated by postsecondary institutions throughout the country.

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