February 2, 2022 – Santa Fe College President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. announced today that the college has been awarded a $2 million grant from the State of Florida to develop a STEM-focused charter school on the Northwest Campus. The president’s announcement came during Governor Ron DeSantis’ press conference in which the governor presented the state’s $89 million plan to enhance workforce initiatives across the state. Since 2019, the state has invested $3.5 billion in workforce education and training programs, much of it within the Florida College System.
In addition to the governor, President Broadie was joined by Florida Department of Education’s Senior Chancellor of Career and Adult Education Henry Mack. The three presented a vision of developing and implementing workforce training programs in Florida College System schools in general, and at Santa Fe College in particular. The funding that SF is receiving is a testament to the college’s success as a leader in workforce development training programs. The college currently has a 97% job placement rate for students in the college’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.
At the press conference, President Broadie talked about how he has received repeated requests from the community that the college develop a plan to implement some of the college’s CTE for area high school students. Broadie said the investments being made by the governor, the state legislature and the state’s Department of Education will pay huge dividends in training a workforce prepared for the jobs of the 21st century and promoting social and economic mobility.
“Any investment in education is a great investment,” Broadie said. “I want to thank the governor, the chancellor and the commissioner for their investment in the Florida College System. Throughout our state, the Florida College System is making a difference in the lives of individuals in a variety of ways.”
Santa Fe College will develop the charter school based on a nationally-recognized system known as P-TECH. Upon its opening in the fall of 2023, the school will offer students two tracks each within both Health Sciences and Information Technology, and additional degree tracks may be made available as the charter school expands. The president emphasized that the credentials students in the charter school would receive upon completion would not cost them anything. He further added one of the keys to the charter school will be partnerships with local industries offering internships as part of the curriculum, providing opportunities for students throughout the entirety of their academic journey.
“We will be able to give students in this program their high school diploma, their associate degree and a minimum of two industry certifications,” Broadie added. “That student can then decide if they want to go right into the workforce or continue their education.”
President Broadie has long championed education as a way of providing social and economic mobility and has developed partnerships in the public and private sector to promote a college-going culture within the community.
State officials have been working with Florida College System schools, including SF, on making workforce development programs affordable and available to Floridians as part of a larger campaign – Get There – promoting the need for programs that provide skills needed to enter the job market.