July 19, 2022 – Tuesday evening, the Alachua County School Board approved Santa Fe College’s application to create a charter school that will focus on Career and Technical Education programs in Health Sciences and Information Technology. The unanimous vote paves the way for the college to open the Academy of Science and Technology in the fall of 2023.
When plans were initially announced in February, SF President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. said the school would be based on a proven, national model known as P-Tech. “This school enables us to reach high school students and expose them to opportunities in high-wage career fields in health and computer sciences,” the president said. “I thank the Alachua County School Board for believing in and supporting the college’s mission of adding value to the lives of others. The Academy of Science and Technology will be able to transform lives, create opportunities for social and economic mobility, and shatter equity gaps.”
SF’s Academy of Science and Technology is projected to open on the college’s Northwest Campus with a class of 75 ninth-grade students. Each year, an additional cohort of students will be added with a total expected enrollment of approximately 300 students by the fall of 2026. Students would still be allowed to participate in after school extracurricular activities at their zoned school.
Jen Homard, SF’s Executive Director of Secondary Programs, said that while students in the charter school will start their first year with high school-level classes, “some college-level CTE courses could be added to their curriculum as early as 10th grade. And by the time they graduate, they’ll have the option of entering the job market or continuing their education.”
Upon graduation, students will have earned their high school diploma, an Associate in Science degree in one of four CTE tracks offered, and two industry-recognized certifications, all at no cost to themselves or their families. The four A.S. pathways students can choose are:
- Surgical Technology
- Computer Information Technology
- Information Technology Security
Applications are expected to open in January 2023. Information will be available at sfcollege.edu/academy.