Charlotte County, FL â€“ Florida Gulf Coast University and Edison State College held a press conference to announce a first of its kind initiative in Florida to expand higher education in Charlotte County. Edison State College District President Kenneth P. Walker and FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw made the announcement.
Highlights from the event:
â€¢ ESC and FGCU plan to use existing infrastructure on the Edison State College -Charlotte County Campus to support extended bachelorâ€™s and masterâ€™s degree offerings to residents of Charlotte County.
â€¢ ESC and FGCU propose and ambitious agenda for program expansion that will add 12 bachelorâ€™s degree programs and 2 masterâ€™s degree programs within 5 years.
â€¢ Proposed for academic year 2009-2010 include the B.A. in Special Education, B.A. in Early Childhood Education, B.S. in Elementary Education, a B.A.S in Public Safety Management and B.A.S in Supervision and Management.
â€¢ Demonstrated need for a more educated work force in Charlotte County. A 2007 study by Wadley-Donovan revealed a pressing need for an advanced workforce in Charlotte County. The study showed a need for elementary and secondary school teachers, registered nurses, entry-level management, computer specialists, and sales representatives. It also revealed a need for training programs, especially for health care professionals.
â€¢ The schools plan to ask the state for approximately 3.5 million in forward funding to make the proposal a reality.
â€¢ State Senator Nancy Detert said the plan, â€œmakes good economic sense.â€
â€¢ State Representative Dr. Paige Kreegel spoke in favor of the plan saying, â€œThese educational leaders have come up with a proposal that can work.â€