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After Years Of Trying, Negron Gets Chance To Remake Florida College System

The Florida College System

The Florida College System could be revamped if the Senate gets its way.  Senate President Joe Negron has railed for years against what he sees as mission creep: community colleges stepping into roles traditionally held by universities. And now there's a bill that would begin to cut down on that expansion.

For the past three years Negron has sought to reign in the proliferation of baccalaureate degree programs at community colleges. Now a measure introduced by Republican Senator Dorothy Hukill would make it harder for those schools to offer new four-year programs. In an interview with the Florida Channel earlier this month, College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega says the system is already doing much of what’s in the Senate’s bill.

“We remain focused on our Associate of Arts missions and the 2+2 pathways to our universities, as well as our associates programs that offer a quick path to a career," she said.

The senate’s plan puts control of the college system into the State Board of Community Colleges, thereby removing them from the authority of the state board of education. And it would require all public community and state colleges to have at least 1 transfer agreement with a public university.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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