Today, Palm Beach State College became the 12th Florida College System institution to accept Governor Scott’s affordable degree challenge—to develop bachelor’s degree programs that cost students $10,000 or less.
Governor Scott said, “This is great news for Florida students. The more affordable we make college degrees, the more Florida families will benefit and be able to get a great job. I look forward to seeing even more schools take our $10,000 degree challenge.”
Randy Hanna, Chancellor of the Florida College System, announced Palm Beach State College’s support for more affordable degree programs during today’s House Education Committee meeting.
“Governor Scott set the bar high with this challenge, and I am proud to say that at every turn Florida colleges have met or exceeded our expectations. Accepting this challenge is just the first step on the road to greater accessibility,” said Chancellor Hanna. “We will be working with the legislature to obtain the approvals necessary to make these programs available as quickly as possible.”
To determine which degree programs will be offered at $10,000 or less, Palm Beach State College officials are developing an assessment survey that will look at program costs and job demand for new graduates.
“I appreciate the Governor’s efforts to make higher education more accessible and affordable for all Floridians,” said Palm Beach State College President Dr. Dennis P. Gallon. “And, we are making a concerted effort to design a degree program that will meet his challenge and prepare students for high-demand careers in our local economy.”
To date, more than half of Florida’s 28 College System institutions that offer baccalaureate degree programs have expressed support or interest in the high education affordability challenge. Many of the programs are in high-demand areas including information technology, business and organization management, education, and engineering technology.
In response to the critical statewide need for baccalaureate degree production, the Florida Legislature approved a process in 2001 that allowed community colleges to seek approval to offer bachelor’s degrees. Today, 22 colleges are authorized to offer almost 150 baccalaureate programs.