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PRESS RELEASE

February 6, 2004

Frances Marine
(850) 245-0413

Board of Governors Chair Carolyn Roberts, Education Commissioner Jim Horne and Chancellor Debra Austin Congratulate Two State Universities on Recent Awards
UCF receives the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Best Practices Award for Collaboration with Community Colleges, USF Entrepreneurship Program ranked No. 1 in the Nation by United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Board of Governors Chair Carolyn Roberts, Education Commissioner Jim Horne and Chancellor for Colleges and Universities Debra Austin today congratulated two state universities on national awards. The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) selected the University of Central Florida (UCF) this week to receive its Best Practices Award for Collaboration with Community Colleges. The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) recently recognized the Life Sciences Entrepreneurship program at the University of South Florida (USF) as the number one specialty entrepreneurship program in the country.

"While tuition at our state universities remains among the lowest in the country, their programs continue to shine on the national stage," said Chairwoman 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 will receive 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 ninety 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 Commissioner Horne. "I commend those involved in the program and extend my congratulations on their award."

USASBE commended USF's program as a national model exportable to universities across the country. USF's 2004 top ranking follows Stanford University's number one ranking in 2003. The first place award recognizes USF's innovative and nationally benchmarked research, education and training programs in life sciences entrepreneurship. The award comes after an intensive competition by 26 major universities that began in October 2003. USF beat out two other finalists, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Hawaii, in its final selection as the premier program in the country.

"Universities across Florida provide incredible opportunities in a wide variety of program areas," said Chancellor Austin. "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."