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Press Release

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education’s College & Career Day Dubbed a Major Success

~ Eighth graders’ eyes opened to college and career options ~

TALLAHASSEE – More than 300 8th graders from Leon, Wakulla and Gadsden counties took advantage of an amazing opportunity to learn more about what it takes to be successful in college and beyond this morning at the Department of Education’s first-ever College & Career Day. Students packed into Tallahassee Community College to hear personally from Florida State University student athletes Christian Ponder and Margo Zwerling about pursuing their goals and achieving their dreams through education. Following the student athlete presentation, attendees were invited to a college and career fair to learn about college admissions directly from college recruiters, the financial aid process, online advising tools and the challenging coursework they will experience in high school.

“The students who attended today’s inaugural event now know the benefits of maintaining their focus on education and have a better idea of the challenges ahead,” said Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Florida’s students are capable of incredible achievements and it’s important they know that our state colleges, universities and career and technical training centers are here to help make their dreams a reality.”

The event provided a personal glimpse of the college experience for students by coupling a brief campus visit with face-to-face interaction among other students who have been successful in higher education. Students listened to presentations on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Advanced International Certificate of Education, Career and Technical Education, and the Florida Future Business Leaders of America organization, among many others.

In addition, representatives from five of the state's 11 public universities participated in today's event, taking advantage of the opportunity to educate these students about what it takes to be successful in college. Florida State University, the University of Florida, the University of North Florida, the University of South Florida and Florida A & M University joined Tallahassee Community College and Warner University to meet with students. The State University System of Florida's Chancellor, Frank T. Brogan was on hand to motivate students about the challenges and rewards ahead.

"Whatever you choose to pursue in your work life, be the 'best one' they have ever had,” said Brogan. “Right now, though, work hard at school not just because you have to but because you are building your future. Today, we are offering you keys to that future with these college and career booths."

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, Herff Jones, Killearn Kiwanis, Southern Scholarship Foundation and The Florida Association of Career and Technical Educators sponsored the 2010 Florida Department of Education College & Career Day.