EFSC strikes gold, named leader among Florida state colleges
Eastern Florida State College was named Monday as among the top institutions of higher education in Florida, earning a prestigious gold rating for its work in helping students succeed.
The honor came from the Florida Board of Education in Tallahassee where officials announced annual performance ratings for the 28 colleges in the Florida College System, of which EFSC is a member.
This is the first time that Eastern Florida has achieved gold status. It is also one of only seven state colleges to gain the distinction this year.
State officials said the college earned high performance grades in four key areas:
Student retention rates, with 67 percent of its students remaining enrolled.
Student completion rates, with 67.5 percent of its students graduating on time.
Students attaining jobs after graduation or continuing their education, with 94.3 percent gaining employment or pursing additional studies.
Wages for graduates in entry-level jobs, with 92.7 percent earning above the average salary locally for entry-level jobs compared to non-college graduates.
“The ranking reflects the college’s strong commitment to providing students a great education that can put them on the path to a successful career and a better life,” said college President Dr. Jim Richey.
“It’s an exceptional achievement that shows we’re making an important difference in our community, and that Space Coast residents can get the college education they need right in their backyard.”-
Richey cited a number of areas where the college has strengthened student services and resources that contributed to the gold rating.
Among them are small class sizes that allow instructors to give students personalized attention, tutoring programs to keep them on track and classes on campus and online that allow students to tailor their courses to their needs.
Financial aid, academic and career advisors are also playing a valuable role in ensuring students receive financial assistance to stay in school, take the right courses and select the career that’s best for them.
Importantly, the college has not raised tuition for six straight years, and its focus on creating new programs in fields with fast job growth is giving students in-demand skills for the job market.
The college has launched 40 new programs in business, health care and computer technologies during the past five years, with about 1,600 students enrolled in 16 Bachelor’s Degree tracks this year.
The four-year programs are filling a critical need, giving students an opportunity to advance their education and careers that did not previously exist in Brevard County, said Richey.
"I'm extremely proud of everyone at the college for their contributions to our gold rating," he Richey. “We have outstanding faculty and staff that do everything possible to help every student every day.”
This is the third year the state has given performance ratings for the Florida College System. Eastern Florida received silver ratings the previous two years.
The gold rating is the second time this year that Eastern Florida has been cited for outstanding performance by the Florida Department of Education.
In April, it was also named in the top tier of the Florida College System during a Chancellor's Best Practices Summit in Tallahassee.
EFSC received high grades in areas including students gaining employment in their chosen careers after graduation, and students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree after earning an Associate’s Degree.
To learn more about Eastern Florida and its programs, visit easternflorida.edu