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Press Release

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

New Web Portal Empowers Students to Make Informed Decisions About College

- Tool allows students to browse outcomes of their desired major or program -

Tallahassee, Fla., July 19, 2012 - Making smart decisions about postsecondary options just got easier with a new tool developed by the Florida Department of Education. The new Smart College Choices web portal allows prospective and current students to view graduation rates, employment statistics and earnings data for graduates of the 28 Florida College System institutions and Florida Public School District Career Centers.

"Florida's future depends on a well-trained workforce, and this tool will allow Floridians to spend their time and money wisely when deciding on a career path," said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna. "We are proud of the robust data we have on learning outcomes and this portal shares that data with students so that they can use it to secure their future."

The Smart College Choices web portal lets students view data on how much they can expect to earn from a degree or certificate program, the percentage of graduates who secured jobs in Florida, and how many completed the program. This information is vital to making smart decisions about college and will help reduce the number of students who default on loans or are saddled by student loan debt.

"The new web portal is a valuable tool that will help students make the best decisions about their future postsecondary and career plans," said Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. "Florida is a national leader in developing a longitudinal data system and this is an excellent way for students to utilize the information so they can prepare for success in the workplace."

The web portal is the first step in implementing legislation sponsored by incoming Senate President Don Gaetz. During the 2012 legislative session, Senator Gaetz said his highest priority was to "lash education to economic development in Florida." This web portal is designed for students to see the direct connection between higher education and job placement.

Florida has a long history of collecting a multitude of data on its public education system and is one of the nation's pioneers in collecting student-level data. The portal uses extensive data from the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program and makes it more user friendly. Florida's data on outcomes is a model for the country and can help match job market demands with the supply of skilled workers.

To use the new web tool, please visit Smart-College-Choices.

About the Florida Department of Education: The department's mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient education system by providing them the chance to expand their knowledge and skills through world-class learning opportunities. Serving more than 3.5 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 188,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 318,000 full-time staff throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, job-specific skills, and career development. Florida ranks first in the nation for teacher quality, first in the nation in advanced placement participation, and first in the southern region for graduation rate and degrees awarded by the Florida College System. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org.