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Increasing College and Career Readiness, Access and Attainment in Florida

Posted on: July 14, 2014

Currently in Florida, only 37 percent of adults have an associate’s degree or higher.   However, workforce development estimates indicate that by 2018, 59 percent of jobs in Florida will require some form of postsecondary education and training.  In addition, research shows that there will be fewer jobs available for individuals who only possess a high school diploma.   Increasing the number of students who attain and complete a postsecondary degree is not only critical for individual success but also for the economic stability of the state. 

Through the leadership of the Florida College Access Network (Florida C.A.N!), more Florida students will now have access to resources to help them access, persist and complete a postsecondary education.  Over the past several months, Florida C.A.N! has expanded its reach to 16 Florida counties covering 38 percent of the state’s population.  With support from Helios Education Foundation, Florida C.A.N! is developing Local College Access Networks, called LCANs, which are community-based strategic alliances devoted to dramatically increasing college and career readiness, access and attainment, particularly for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education.  LCANs commit themselves to lowering the barriers for students pursuing education and training beyond high school.   In the past few months, five LCANs have been established.

“This community-based strategy brings together community representatives from the K-12 system, higher education, business, philanthropy, government and nonprofits to collaborate and develop strategies that are unique to each community,”  said Stacy Carlson, Vice President and Program Director, Florida Transition Years.  “The leadership that Florida C.A.N! is providing to this effort is helping more Florida students and adults have the information and opportunities they need to pursue and graduate with a postsecondary certificate or degree.”

The five Florida LCANs will work to organize community leaders to increase the community’s postsecondary educational attainment level to 60 percent by the year 2025.  This will, in turn, lay the foundation for a vibrant economy, healthy community, and strong workforce equipped to compete in a 21st century global economy.  The LCANs focus on student success by establishing a system of data gathering and analysis, reporting results, and holding partners accountable for performance. The LCANs will primarily coordinate and mobilize college access efforts within each community.

Category: College and Career Readiness

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