BY DR. CAROL PROBSTFELD
The easiest decision of my presidency was to partner with the University of Florida to bring Gator Engineering at SCF to our Venice campus.
From the moment discussions began about the possibility of a partnership between State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and the University of Florida, I knew it was the right thing for our college and our region.
Gator Engineering at SCF provides a clear pathway for students from our region to be accepted to the University of Florida’s prestigious Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. For three semesters, they will receive high-level instruction at SCF that will prepare them to finish their degree at UF and go forward in their careers as both Manatees and Gators.
The University of Florida is unable to admit all the qualified students who apply to its engineering program each year. Ten students who met UF’s requirements accepted the opportunity to attend SCF and participate in the Gator Engineering program.
Students in the first Gator Engineering at SCF class, recruited from a six-county region that includes Manatee and Sarasota counties, will begin their college careers this month on our Venice Campus. SCF’s state-college environment provides these students with smaller class sizes, direct engagement with our professors, and a very affordable tuition rate. Assuming they complete all their requirements satisfactorily, they will move on to the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering in Gainesville for their fourth semester, reverse transfer their credits to be awarded an Associate of Arts degree from SCF, and then continue to work toward their bachelor’s degree at UF.
We officially opened the Gator Den on our Venice Campus Aug. 17. Thanks to our partners at the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, our Gator Engineering at SCF students have their own space to congregate and study and an advisor dedicated to helping them navigate this two-institution program.