Florida Atlantic University, Broward College and Palm Beach State College Awarded $3.5 Million Florida TEAm Grant to Accelerate Pipeline for Computer Science and Engineering Students
BOCA RATON, Fla. (March 20, 2014) – The Board of Governors has awarded Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Broward College (BC) and Palm Beach State College (PBSC) a $3.5-million state grant to create an accelerated pipeline for students in the economically important fields of computer science and computer engineering.
The FAU/BC/PBSC partnership was developed in response to the Florida Board of Governors’ Targeted Educational Attainment (TEAm) grant program, which is part of an ambitious effort to align university and college degrees with the state’s future workforce needs. The grants went to collaborative higher education projects designed to produce more students for careers in high-need areas, from accounting to computer information and technology.
FAU, BC and PBSC created the Computer Accelerated Pipeline To Unlock Regional Excellence (CAPTURE) program to address the need for computer-related workforce development in South Florida, providing superior learning and professional development opportunities for more than 400 anticipated new students. The three institutions will collaborate on developing a hybrid curriculum to address workforce needs.
“We expect this program to significantly increase the number of well-qualified computer professionals available for employment in a wide variety of local businesses,” said FAU President John Kelly. “We hope to be able to replicate this approach in other fields of study that have an escalating need for highly skilled employees.”
The proposed curriculum is innovative and includes new and existing courses offered by the three institutions, taught by faculty who are leaders in the computer technology field. The number of bachelor degrees in computer science and computer engineering will be increased by the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science, and graduates of the state colleges will be offered seamless admission to FAU. Students will be drawn into the pipeline from the three institutions’ existing student bodies, employees of major corporations and graduating high school students in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“The program stresses breadth, depth and flexibility,” said Palm Beach State College President Dennis Gallon. “Although all students will be required to satisfy core requirements, they will have the ability to choose tracks and electives in accordance with their needs and interests.”
Practical training will be provided through internships in industry and government agencies, providing early exposure to the computer technology sector.
“One of the most helpful features of the program is the system of shared advising, which will keep students on track,” said Broward College President J. David Armstrong, Jr. “Students will be able to take courses at the colleges and FAU simultaneously to hasten their progress toward graduation.”
The TEAm grant awards follow more than 18 months of work by The Commission on Florida Higher Education Access and Attainment, a coalition of education, business and legislative leaders that identified the largest gaps between bachelor's degree production and job needs. The effort marks an unprecedented level of collaboration between elected leaders, universities, state colleges and the business community.
For more information on FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, visit www.eng.fau.edu .
This project is supported by the Florida Board of Governors.
About Broward College:
Broward College is ranked as one of the top ten community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. Serving more than 68,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu .
About Palm Beach State College:
Serving 48,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida's first public community college, it offers more than 100 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens and Belle Glade. For more information, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu .
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.