April is Florida College System Month

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April is Florida College System Month

Helios Education Foundation is committed to ensuring all students, particularly low-income and Black students in Florida, experience postsecondary success.  In the next five years, Helios is focused on increasing the number of Black students who read at grade level by the end of third grade as well as increasing the number who enroll in college and graduate with two- and four-year degrees. For many minority students, state colleges provide an onramp to postsecondary degree completion.

Recently Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, and Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran, recognized April as Florida College System (FCS) month, honoring the contribution FCS institutions make to Florida’s workforce. During academic year 2020-2021, Florida’s 28 state colleges served over 293,000 students and awarded 130,545 degrees and certificates.  According to the Florida Department of Education, Bachelor’s-degree graduates earn an average salary of $58,856. Those who receive an associate in science degree earn an average salary of $53,968. The FCS’s total economic impact to the state of Florida is estimated to be $26.6 billion.

“A high-quality education and a postsecondary degree should be accessible and achievable for every student,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “In partnership with the FCS we focus on creating pathways to completion for all students in Florida.”

Helios’ partnership with the FCS spans over a decade. Starting in 2006 Helios seeded an endowment to provide scholarships to first-generation students which, to date, has aided nearly 10,000 students to complete a degree. Most recently, Helios partnered with the FCS to support the ongoing work of the Florida Student Success Center. Since formation in 2018, The Center has led mathematics reforms and pathways implementation within state colleges. Ongoing Center priorities include expanding guided pathways, implementing mathematics reform, advancing educational equity, promoting dual enrollment, strengthening the state college to university transfer system, and aligning with workforce development needs.

Florida’s state colleges elevate student success by providing a high-quality, affordable postsecondary education and an onramp to economic mobility. Helios is proud to partner with the FCS to impact lives and strengthen communities through education.