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January 18, 2007

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Statement by Community College and Workforce Education Chancellor David Armstrong
Regarding Florida State Board of Education and Board of Governors Agreement on Four-Year Degrees

"Today the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors took an important step to ensuring Florida students have access to achieve their postsecondary goals. Florida's university system will always remain as the primary way for students to earn a bachelor's degree working hand-in-hand with our nationally recognized 2+2 articulation system. But in the case of professions where our state has the greatest need — nursing, teaching and applied sciences — Florida's community college system provides a viable and accessible option for students seeking four-year degrees in these disciplines.

Florida's community college system is one of the best in the nation. It serves the unique needs of the state's diverse population by providing alternative educational opportunities for students. In conjunction with the settlement between the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors last week concurring that the State Board of Education has jurisdiction over community colleges, this move to ask the Florida Legislature to modify state laws will expand access for students.

I want to thank State Board of Education Vice Chair Philip Handy and Board of Governors Chair Carolyn Roberts for their leadership and commitment to Florida's students. We look forward to the Florida Legislature clarifying the role our community college system plays in helping the state meet its workforce needs."