Message from the Chancellor 

 A college education is not an abstract concept. It is one of life’s few tangible accomplishments that can never be taken away from anyone. Our colleges have been given and accepted the responsibility for providing access to the American Dream.

Because the American dream is built on the values of our Florida College System (FCS) – the knowledge that everyone given the opportunity to succeed, can succeed in college - it is our belief that every person is good enough to be a valuable member of their community.

Every day we work on breaking the cycle of poverty, the generational cycle of poverty, and making sure that students starting in seventh grade have a pathway to being college and career ready. We now know that two-thirds of our students who graduated from a Florida high school last year enrolled in a Florida College System institution. The primary choice for these graduates has been to take the next step and enroll at an FCS institution, with 65 percent of these graduates entering public postsecondary education. Given this perspective, we have become the pathway to breaking the generational cycle of poverty; making sure that we put families on a path to prosperity and help fill needed occupations that are open.

It is amazing to consider how far Florida has developed over the past 60 years when considering how community colleges were first espoused in the 1957 report “The Community Junior College in Florida’s Future.” This report responded to a 125 percent increase in high school graduates whereby 70 percent of all high school seniors sought additional education. The plan was a simple college system that removed many of the barriers to attending college, such as cost, the desire for more programs aligned with the workforce, and the inability to travel more than 50 miles to college. These barriers continue today for many of our students who are place-bound, specifically, nontraditional students who desperately desire to continue their educational pursuits. For these very students, our colleges stand at the forefront ready to serve.

As of 2017, we are among the lowest priced educational options in the country. Our programs are directly aligned with workforce needs and we have 28 colleges with 70 campuses and 170 sites to provide the localized access Floridians need to attend college.

Providing affordable access to high-quality education is what we do, but we have also embraced that students must have access to success. Our colleges are national leaders. This accomplishment is the result of many factors, most notably our hard work and collective effort to ensure that we have reached and remain on top.

I have traveled this state and have seen first-hand the work of our colleges. Without question, each trip inspires me. I see the hard work and innovation occurring at all levels of the institution. I witness the energy that goes into the work. And I have seen the outcomes of your work as students proudly, and rightfully so, stride across your stages at commencement. We need more of those gallant, beautiful strides that fill our hearts, are emblazoned in our memory and fuel our work. To that end, I present to you this collection of the Florida College System’s best practices focused on Access, Affordability, Achievement/Articulation and Attainment as a collective elevation of our work.

Sincerely, Madeline Pumariega
Chancellor, The Florida College System.

Learn more about the Florida College System's best practices here: 


Meeting Goals

  • Discuss trends and strategies in higher education.
  • Share successful practices for access, achievement, attainment and affordability.
  • Share innovative methods for enhancing college affordability for Florida College System students.
  • Examine articulation agreements and best practices between the State University System and the Florida College System.
  • Explore Florida’s attainment goal and the partnerships needed to increase the percentage of working-age adults (ages 25-64) who hold a postsecondary degree or credential to 55% by the year 2025.
  • Discuss the pipeline needed for advancing and aligning degrees to jobs in Florida.

Meeting Handouts

Keynote Speakers

  • Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Education & Workforce, Gallup
  • Paul Luna President/CEO, Helios Education Foundation

Panel Presentations

Attainment. The Higher Education Coordinating Council adopted an attainment goal for Florida aligned with the business and industry needs of employers in the state. This session will drew upon the expertise of national leaders in the areas of educational attainment and the partnerships needed to increase the percentage of working age adults (ages 25 to 64) who hold a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.

Moderator: Madeline Pumariega, Chancellor, Florida College System

Panel Presenters:
  • Paul Luna, President/CEO, Helios Education Foundation
  • Scott Jenkins, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation
  • Ann Reinert, Vice President, Corporate Resonsibility, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Affordability. This session highlighted the innovative methods for enhancing college affordability for Florida College System students, including a discussion on accelerated and guided pathway programs that help students finish faster and save more.
Moderator: Christopher M. Mullin, Executive Vice Chancellor, Florida College System

Panel Presenters:
  • Jeff Allbritten, President, Florida SouthWestern State College
  • Timothy Beard, President, Pasco-Hernando State College
  • Cynthia Bioteau, President, Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Tom Leitzel, President, South Florida State College

Achievement & Articulation
. A vibrant Florida economy will rely upon a college educated workforce as 58 percent of jobs in 2024 will require a postsecondary credential. The Florida Chamber Foundation's 2030 report calculates that Florida will add six million more residents and will need two million net new jobs by the end of the next decade. This session focused on next generation practices in articulation and program development with emphasis on assisting graduates into career pathways and jobs the economy demands.

Moderator: Bob Ward, President/CEO, Florida Council of 100

Panel Presenters:
  • Rod Duckworth, Chancellor, Division of Career and Adult Education, FDOE
  • Edwin Massey, President, Indian River State College
  • Jackson Sasser, President, Santa Fe College
  • Stanley Sidor, President, Lake-Sumter State College

Access. The focus of the Florida College System on access is fundamental to Florida's higher education ecosystem. The Florida College System's open access mission is the pathway to college for the majority of Floridians seeking a postsecondary education. Our colleges support students as they seek college and career readiness, access, and college completion. This session focused on the importance of local partnerships and the strategies for advancing and aligning access to college.

Moderator: Laurie Meggesin, Executive Director, Florida College Access Network

Panel Presenters:
  • Hershel Lyons, Chancellor, Division of Public Schools, FDOE
  • Ed Meadows, President, Pensacola State College
  • Ava L. Parker, President, Palm Beach State College
  • Sarah Pingel, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Commission of the States