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Press ReleaseThursday, November 14, 2013
DOE Press Office
Florida College System Chancellor Recognizes Innovation, ExcellenceOrlando, Fla., November 14, 2013 - Florida College System (FCS) Chancellor Randy Hanna recognized four colleges for innovation and excellence through the Chancellor's Best Practice Awards today. Florida Gateway College, Indian River State College, Miami Dade College and Pasco-Hernando Community College were each honored at the Association of Florida Colleges' 64th Annual Convention in Orlando.
"The Chancellor's Best Practice Awards give much-deserved recognition to exceptional programs and allow each of our colleges to learn from proven strategies that will raise the level of performance for the entire college system," said Chancellor Hanna. "I am extremely proud of the faculty and staff at our colleges who have worked tirelessly to bring our students unique opportunities to further their education."
The purpose of these awards is two-fold. First, to recognize colleges for creating and sustaining successful programs and strategies. Second, to share best practices with all institutions in the FCS. Colleges submitting nominations undergo a rigorous review process and are selected based on six criteria: sustainability, innovation, improvement, evaluation, impact and recognition.
The chancellor recognized Florida Gateway College for its use of virtual technology to enable student learning. Through BodyViz software, anatomy and physiology students can view and manipulate real-life CT and MRI images in a 3-D environment. The use of this software has increased interest in anatomy and physiology, helped prepare allied-health students and enabled the college to reach and support its community.
Indian River State College was recognized for its efforts in Project Win-Win, known at the college as "Return to the River." Through this research-based, highly successful approach, the college identifies students who left college before earning degrees and brings them to degree completion. More than 860 students were confirmed for completion and more than 350 students re-enrolled within two years.
The chancellor honored Miami Dade College for test-prep boot camps, which are intensive, one-week boot camps in reading, writing and mathematics for first-time-in-college, direct-entry-from-high school students who scored into developmental education. During fall 2012, students who attended boot camps passed reading, writing and mathematics courses into which they were placed post-boot camp at higher-than-overall passing rates.
Finally, Pasco-Hernando Community College received recognition for its Student Assistance Program. The college partnered with BayCare Life Management to form the first public-private joint initiative among Florida colleges to outsource student counseling services. The success of the program has been evident by an increase in student persistence, graduation rates and the feelings of safety and security among students, staff and faculty as indicated by monthly and annual assessments.
"Our colleges are national leaders and innovators in education," said Chancellor Hanna. "I commend these colleges for setting a standard of excellence in our system."