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Eastern Florida State College Era Underway

July 1, 2013 - A new era in higher education began Monday when Eastern Florida State College opened its doors to provide four-year degrees to students in Brevard County and Central Florida.

Formerly known as Brevard Community College, Eastern Florida is expanding its academic mission with Bachelor Degree programs in business, health care and information technologies.

The first two degrees in General Business Administration and Health Care Administration will begin in August, with another eight Bachelor Degree tracks scheduled to start in August 2014.

“Today is a historic moment for the college and our community, both here in Brevard and throughout Central Florida,” said Eastern Florida President, Dr. Jim Richey.

“Our new four-year programs will make an important difference in peoples’ lives, giving them the opportunity to advance their careers and giving business and industry the skilled employees they need to grow in the global economy.

“The impact of the college’s transformation will resonate for generations to come, benefiting individuals, their families and the state of Florida.”

The change is the culmination of three years of work by college officials that saw them reach out to students, faculty, business and community leaders, and elected officials to chart a new course for the college.

The effort accelerated in January 2012 when Richey was named president. He immediately began launching new programs geared to the changing economy that would provide students with in-demand jobs upon graduation.

The result is 20 new programs starting this year and in 2014. Besides the two four-year programs that begin in August, another eight Bachelor Degree tracks are planned to start in August 2014, pending approval from the Florida Department of Education.

They are:

  • Business: Public Safety Management and Sales and Marketing Management.
  • Health Care:  Advanced Allied Health, Biomedical Sciences and Nursing.
  • Information Technologies: Software Development, Program Development and Project Management, and Networking Services.

The college is also starting new two-year Associate in Science Degrees and certification programs. They include:

  • A.S. degrees in Cyber Security, Health Information Technology, Aircraft Airframe and Power-plant Mechanic, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy Assistant and Occupational Therapy Assistant.
  • Post-Secondary Adult Vocational certificates in 911 Emergency Dispatcher, Electrical Repairs, Machinist in Advanced Manufacturing and Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.

The new A.S. and certificate programs point to a key aspect of Eastern Florida’s mission: It remains committed to its community college roots, offering more than 100 two-year degree and certificate programs.

Eastern Florida also will continue its DirectConnect program with the University of Central Florida, which guarantees Eastern Florida students who graduate with an A.A. or A.S. degree automatic entry into UCF.

A similar agreement also will continue to provide two-year Eastern Florida graduates entry into Florida Tech.

Eastern Florida’s four-year degrees will be highly attractive to students for several reasons, Richey said:

  • Tuition will be lower than at four-year state and private universities.
  • The degrees will allow students to stay close to their homes and families, and make it easier for those who are working their way through college to continue their education.
  • The degrees will provide people already in the workforce with the chance to learn new skills without leaving Brevard.
  • Students will continue to benefit from the small classroom size and personalized instruction that had long been the hallmark at Brevard Community College.

On the economic front, the new degrees will increase Eastern Florida’s nearly $1.1 billion annual economic impact to the Brevard and Central Florida’s economies.

For example, a recent study showed that graduates from Eastern Florida with an Associate Degree go on to earn an average of $43,100 annually. Bachelor Degree graduates can expect to earn an average of $61,800 annually.

“Among my top priorities is increasing our partnerships with business and industry, and to use the college and its resources as a driver of economic growth and development in the region,” Richey said.

An advertising and marketing campaign to imprint Eastern Florida’s new identity is accompanying its name change. The campaign includes television commercials that started airing throughout Central Florida today.

The commercials speak to Eastern Florida building on the excellence of BCC’s past, asking prospective students to “look to the east” to pursue their education and encouraging the public to support the college’s expanding role.

They also feature Eastern Florida’s new motto “Explore. Achieve. Succeed.”

The TV spots can also be seen on the college YouTube channel, Facebook page and WEFS-TV station, which was renamed from its former call letters of WBCC in keeping with the new name.

The college’s name change means new addresses for its website and social media pages. They include: