State University System of Florida – Part 2

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The University of North Florida has been located in Jacksonville, Florida since it first opened in 1972 (photo courtesy of davew.wilson on flickr).

As previously mentioned, the State University System of Florida currently has twelve universities throughout the state. Each university has not only its own degree programs, location, and student resources, but also traditions, superstitutions, and achievements.

New College of Florida

Location: Sarasota

Fun Fact: NCF operates on four core principles with its academic philosophy:

(1) each student is responsible in the last analysis for his or her own education

(2) the best education demands a joint search for learning by exciting teachers and able students

(3) students’ progress should be based on demonstrated competence and real mastery rather than on the accumulation of credits and grades

(4) students should have, from the outset, opportunities to explore in-depth, areas of interest to them.

New College was originally founded as a private college in 1960. By 1972, the enrollment grew to roughly 500 students and was known for its unique courses, teaching-focused faculty, and hard-working students. Unfortunately, by 1975 the school was deeply in debt and was handed over to the State as an entity of USF. In 2001, NCF severed ties with USF and became the eleventh state in the University System.

University of Central Florida

 Location: Orlando

Fun Fact: UCF is the second largest university in the nation by total enrollment; in 2012, it had nearly 60,000 students in 210 degree programs.

There are twelve different colleges on campus at UCF and over 400 recognized student organizations. In addition, UCF’s Online@ucf allows students to take classes and complete degree programs 100% online. Currently, there are over 24 degree programs and 100 individual courses. One of the more interesting ones, you ask? A Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering.

University of Florida

Location: Gainesville

Fun Fact: UF traces its roots back to 1853 when it was East Florida Seminary and currently there are 19 buildings on campus considered historically significant.

In 2010 and 2012, The Princeton review ranked UF number one in the nation for its Career and Job Placement Services. Students are provided with assistance both on and off campus in a range of areas, including job interviews, workshops, career fairs, assistance applying for graduate school, resumes, portfolios, developing leads for job opportunities, and interviewing tactics.

University of North Florida

Location: Jacksonville

Fun Fact: The osprey, the school’s mascot, was selected in 1979 and was selected over the armadillo, manatee, and seagull.

The university offers more than 100 individual courses via distance education and tuition for the 2011-2012 school year averaged around $5,550 in-state. UNF is committed to maintaining small class sizes and usually has a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

University of South Florida

Location: Tampa

Fun Fact: USF is the eighth largest university in the United States with nearly 46,000 students

The first courses at USF were held in 1960, although the school was founded in 1956 and named a year later. Currently, the university offers 228 different degree programs from thirteen different colleges. In addition, USF has two satellite campuses – St. Pete, Sarasota-Manatee – as the former USF Polytechnic in Lakeland is now Florida Polytechnic University and the campus in Ft. Myers became FGCU in 1997.

University of West Florida

Location: Pensacola

Fun Fact: The UWF Leadership Class recently raised $18,000 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Florida as hearing about the recent discontinuation of a federal grant.

Established in 1962, UWF opened its doors for the first time in 1965; 500 students were enrolled. As of today, the Escambia County University is a mid-sized public university and currently enrolls just under 13,000 students. In addition to the physical campus, UWF online campus offers over 400 courses and 28 degree programs and certificates; plus, 100% online students can apply for an out-of-state tuition waiver to pay the in-state tuition throughout their enrollment.

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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