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April 16, 2002

Contact: Bill Edmonds
Florida Board of Education
(850) 201-7130

Florida Board of Education continues progress on Strategic Plan;
hears presentations on community college four-year degree proposals

PORT ORANGE, Fla. — The Florida Board of Education continued progress on its Strategic Plan on Tuesday at its meeting in Port Orange and decided to take up that work again in a conference call later this month.

"We've had a very healthy discussion and have shared some good ideas," said Chairman Phil Handy. "Our Strategic Plan will be stronger thanks to the full participation of all board members in drafting this guide for the future of education in Florida."

Developing a Strategic Plan was among the top priorities set by the Florida Board of Education at its first meeting. The board intends to complete the Strategic Plan by June.

The board, meeting at Atlantic High School in Volusia County, also heard presentations from three community colleges that have proposed offering four-year baccalaureate degrees in specific fields of study.

Board members heard presentations from President Dale O'Daniel of Chipola Junior College, President Kenneth Walker of Edison Community College and President Eduardo Padrón of Miami-Dade Community College. Each gave a proposal to take advantage of a program established by the Legislature allowing community colleges to establish four-year degree programs under certain conditions.

As required by law, the degree proposals first went to the Council for Education Policy Research and Improvement for study and analysis. To be approved, a community college must demonstrate that a demand exists for the proposed four-year degree, that the demand for the degree is currently unmet and that the community college has the facilities and academic resources required to operate the program. The council has recommended against each of the degree proposals presented by the three community colleges.

The board received the CEPRI analyses and recommendations on April 1 and has begun reviewing the proposals. The decision whether to grant a four-year degree program at a community college lies with the Florida Board of Education. After hearing from the community colleges today, the Florida Board of Education will study the degree proposals, weigh the presentations of the college presidents, consider the CEPRI recommendations and consult with the board's staff and analysts. The board is scheduled to take action on the proposals its May 14 meeting.