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June 3, 2004

Frances Marine or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Florida Community College Leaders Celebrate Accomplishments at 4th Annual Leadership Seminar
Four of Florida's community colleges receive national grant to continue enhancing the academic success of low-income and minority students

YBOR CITY — A three-day conference designed to identify and develop the "best and the brightest" of Florida's emerging community college leaders is underway in Tampa this week, amid news that four of Florida's community colleges are among 27 institutions awarded grants by the Lumina Foundation for their efforts in helping low-income and minority students achieve academic success. Hosted by Community Colleges Chancellor David Armstrong, the seminar provides participants, selected by college presidents, with the tools that will prepare them to lead our community colleges in the future. Education Commissioner Jim Horne addressed conference participants Wednesday and congratulated Florida's Community Colleges for their many accomplishments.

"Not only do our institutions grace the top of the ranks in graduation rates, our colleges are also among the best in the country when it comes to affording opportunities to students that have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education," said Commissioner Horne. "Florida's future looks bright with such a high caliber of leadership ready to continue our tradition of excellence."

During his remarks, Horne commended Florida's institutions for their national success. This week, Broward Community College, Hillsborough Community College, Tallahassee Community College, and Valencia Community College will be among Twenty-seven institutions selected by the Lumina Foundation to participate in Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a new initiative designed to enhance the academic success of low-income and minority students. Each college will receive a $50,000 investment grant to develop plans for addressing this challenge and will be eligible for additional funding to implement their plans. According to the reviewers, those colleges selected most effectively demonstrated their commitment to increasing student success and best communicated their vision for accomplishing this at their institutions.

In addition to Commissioner Horne, speakers at this week's leadership conference include several nationally recognized education experts, such as Dr. Jeff Hockaday, a national consultant and former Chancellor of the North Carolina Community College System, who will discuss the importance of leadership needed in community colleges. Today, Dr. John Roueche, Director of the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin, will be the keynote speaker and will discuss "Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities."

"Recognized as leaders within their own institutions and selected to attend this seminar by their college presidents, these individuals represent the very best our state has to offer," said Chancellor Armstrong. "I am honored to work with such talented individuals."

Several community college presidents and other speakers will discuss topics on continuing and strengthening leadership in education and other related topics. The seminar will conclude on Friday with a review of case studies in leadership by Chancellor Armstrong and Dr. Hockaday.
A list of participants by institution is attached.

For more information on Florida's Community Colleges, please visit

For more information on Achieving the Dream, please visit