JANUARY 17, 2017 – FORT MYERS, FLA. – The Schulze Family Foundation recently presented a $300,000 gift to the Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) Foundation for student scholarships. The funds will be divided equally between the School of Education and the School of Health Professions. Scholarships will be awarded to students in the Early Childhood Education program and the Nursing program over the next three years.
“We are honored to receive this gift on behalf of future teachers and nurses that will serve our community for decades to come. We are proud to partner with the Schulze Family Foundation in their efforts to invest in public service professionals,” said Dr. Louis Traina, FSW Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Executive Director, FSW Foundation.
FSW will use the scholarship funds to augment federal aid, state grants, and other resources students typically receive to pay for their educations, maximizing the number of students who receive scholarship dollars to increase the number of students graduating from FSW debt-free.
“The School of Education Early Childhood Education program seeks to match public with private dollars to impact as many students as possible,” said Dr. Larry Miller, dean, School of Education. “The funds will first support students who have received partial scholarships from state grants, doubling the number of students served. We will then award scholarships to high-performing students currently enrolled in our program, and we will use the scholarship to recruit high-performing high school seniors interested in becoming Early Childhood Educators.”
The Nursing RN to BSN program within the School of Health Professions will use the scholarship to fund associate degree nursing graduates who return for the bachelor’s degree after passing the NCLEX-RN Examination and earning a Florida Registered Nurse license.
“This scholarship will support and motivate students to immediately continue their advanced education in nursing before other life events and financial responsibilities happens,” said Dr. Marie Collins, dean, School of Health Professions. “The generous funding from the Schulze Family Foundation, will cover the full tuition costs for over 40 nursing students to complete the 30 credit hour BSN program. We will allocate all scholarship funds to high performing students who are admitted and actively enrolled in the program.”
“The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation recognizes the importance and value in helping students achieve their post-secondary dreams, in a cost-effective manner,” said Mary Beth Geier, Florida Region Coordinator, Schulze Family Foundation. “The scholarships provided through FSW for high-performing students in the fields of Early Childhood Education and Nursing will assist in achieving that goal. We also understand the importance to the community to have highly skilled employees in these valuable and fast-growing job markets. FSW does a wonderful job teaching and training students for the work-force and we are pleased to be able to work in collaboration with them to help students achieve success and make our community a stronger place to live.”
About the Schulze Family Foundation: The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation began its work in 2004 with the charge from its founder to support transformational change for the benefit of mankind. The Foundation has consistently directed its primary efforts and resources toward matters of importance in human & social services, education, and health & medicine. It continues to do so today with a focus on investments that produce specific and measurable outcomes with a geographic emphasis on the Twin Cities (Minnesota) seven-county metropolitan area and Lee and Collier counties in Florida. In all of its activities, the foundation embraces its founder’s beliefs in the value of innovation and in improving the lives of middle- and working-class families.
Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW debuted its intercollegiate athletics program in January 2016. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.