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Florida Community Colleges Retooling Curriculum

Gulf Coast Community College in Florida recently announced three new academic programs bases on careful deliberation by the Board of Trustees and on a survey conducted by the Hanover Research Company on the workforce need/degree gap in the area. One of the options is a bachelor's degree, which means that twenty out of twenty eight Florida Community Colleges now offer some sort of four year degree. While there has been a great deal of discussion on this role for community colleges, the Florida system has in large part implemented it.

Gulf Coast is making its entrance into the bachelors degree market with a program for technology and IT degrees. There will be two areas of concentration, one in information technology and one in control engineering technology. The other options that are new to the Gulf Coast catalogue include a technical certificate in Sustainable Design Technology, which is a follow up to the Alternative Energy Engineering Technology Certificate, both of which sound similar to some of the engineering technician degrees offered by other institutions.

Also new to the Gulf Coast offerings is a diploma program for pharmacy technician. Despite the fact that Florida State University also has a Pharmacy Technician program, the two schools are working in concert with some of the teaching being provided by FSU faculty.

Between the degree programs at FSU and the diploma program at Gulf Coast CC, Florida students have options from what is in effect a pharmacy technician school utilizing two campuses. It's an excellent example of traditional institutions working together on the need to meet workforce renewal, rather than battling for turf. No doubt Gulf Coast will be expanding its degree programs for active job markets in the future, hopefully continuing to do so in conjunction with new programs offered through the state university system. (see Online degree programs)

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