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September 20, 2002

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

Secretary Horne and Chancellor Armstrong congratulate M-DCC's
Dr. Eduardo Padrón on national education award

TALLAHASSEE — Education Secretary Jim Horne today commended Miami-Dade Community College President Eduardo Padrón for being awarded the prestigious Association of Community College Trustees Marie Y. Martin CEO Award. President Padrón will receive the award this evening in Philadelphia.

"Dr. Eduardo Padrón is a well-known leader in higher education in Florida and, today, his distinguished service is recognized at the national level, " said Education Secretary Jim Horne. "Under his leadership Miami-Dade Community College has reached many milestones and continues to excel with innovative ideas, up-to-date programs, expanding facilities and greater access for students to pursue a higher education."

Dr. Padrón is the first Hispanic college president to receive this distinction. Earlier this year, President Padrón had been awarded the Southern Region CEO of the Year Award in Las Vegas, from among finalists from nine states.

"Dr. Padrón never loses sight of the primary mission of Florida's Community College System — educating students," said J. David Armstrong Jr., chancellor, Division of Community Colleges, "and Miami Dade's motto, Students First, is the campus culture under which students thrive and realize their academic dreams."

Miami Dade Community College is the largest (163,000 students) multi-campus college in the nation. It graduates more students than any other college and is the largest producer of Hispanic and African-American graduates in the nation.

In addition to a long list of administrative and academic accomplishments, Dr. Padrón is known for innovation. Here are some of the most notable:

  • Honors College offers a challenging and collegial environment where academically gifted students collaborate with faculty scholars in the exchange of ideas and creative works. Students select from a wide array of honors courses, participate in seminars and external activities and are provided individualized support services and transfer privileges.

  • Virtual College extends high quality education to students to complete degrees online, from any place and at any time.

  • Emerging Technologies Center of the Americas (ETCOTA) at
    M-DCC provides a state-of-the-art training center directly connected to the nation's newest Network Access Point, only the fifth high-speed Internet switching facility in the country. ETCOTA is a prime example of M-DCC's partnerships with the high-tech world.

  • Learning Agenda provides the impetus for faculty initiatives in new instructional strategies, learning models and innovative curricula.

  • Improved access to baccalaureate degrees through agreements with universities is making it possible for M-DCC students to transfer and win scholarships. More recently, Dr. Padrón's efforts made it possible for M-DCC to offer baccalaureate programs, which further opens the doors of opportunity for future generations of students.