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PRESS RELEASE

April 8, 2008

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

April is Florida Community College Month
~ Month-long celebration focuses on helping students enroll in college ~

TALLAHASSEE - April is Florida Community College Month as announced today by Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith and Community Colleges Chancellor Will Holcombe. During the month, Florida’s 28 community colleges will be partnering with more than 180 high schools through the "Go Higher, Get Accepted!" campaign to promote the benefits of a higher education and to help graduating seniors who have not yet done so, apply for college. Each year, Florida’s community colleges provide education for more than 800,000 students from Florida and around the world.

"Florida’s community colleges play an important role in the continuing education of our students and the preparation of our workforce," said Commissioner Smith. "I commend them on their long-standing dedication to providing the citizens of our state with high-quality educational opportunities."

For more than 50 years, Florida’s community colleges have served a unique higher education mission – to provide affordable access to college and workforce training to ensure a highly-skilled, competitive workforce. In 1971, the 2+2 comprehensive articulation agreement was created to better serve this mission. This agreement allows students to seamlessly transfer between and among Florida public postsecondary institutions. Currently, community college transfer students account for approximately half of baccalaureate degree recipients within the state university system.

Notable Florida community college alumni include Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, a graduate of Edison College; Suzanne Lewis, Director of Yellow Stone National Park, a graduate of Seminole Community College; and Dr. Walter Smith, President Emeritus of Florida A&M University, a graduate of Gibbs Junior College.

"Florida needs well-trained and educated workers to fill the high-paying jobs that are critical to our state’s future," said Chancellor Holcombe. "Education is the great equalizer, and Florida’s community colleges are committed to our mission of helping any student who wants to pursue their dreams of securing a better economic future."

For more information about Florida’s community colleges, visit www.fldoe.org. To learn more about the "Go Higher, Get Accepted!" campaign, visit www.FACTS.org.