Santa Fe College had the honor of hosting Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, along with Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary to the U.S. Department of Education on Monday, March 9. As a duo that is passionate about community colleges, Santa Fe College piqued their interest with its high level performance as a “Top Ten” community college, and the Second Lady was eager to pay a visit to see what SF is all about.
Dr. Jill Biden arrived at Santa Fe College and was greeted by a Student Ambassadors, students who are enrolled in the Gator Engineering @ Santa Fe Program, Student Body President and officials from both Santa Fe College and the University of Florida in the UF at SF center, dubbed “The Gator Den,” where students find information and referrals on SF and UF bachelor’s programs, walk-in advising and study space.
The visit then moved on to the Fine Arts Hall where Dr. Biden welcomed hundreds of students and faculty members and took part in a roundtable discussion with SF President Dr. Jackson Sasser, administrative staff from SF and UF, and successful Santa Fe College and “SF to UF” students that have succeeded through the support of Santa Fe College.
During the discussion, Dr. Biden reminded students that they are “in the right place at the right time” because of the support SF offers toward success in achieving their degrees. The discussion also highlighted a 5-year quality enhancement plan that has been in place since 2013 to ensure student success through multiple resources.
Dr. Biden is an advocate on the importance of community colleges and is an adviser of to the Obama administration. President Obama charged Under Secretary Mitchell with the duty of raising the U.S. to “the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world” in regard to the proportion of college graduates by the year 2020.
Dr. Biden also impressed the Gainesville community and garnered quite a bit of attention and media coverage when she visited the college town.