Cel­e­brat­ing South­west Florid­i­ans

55 years in­vested, help­ing us re­al­ize our dreams

Gulf & Main - - Gulf & Main - Jeff Jeff Allbrit­ten, Ph.D Pres­i­dent, Florida South­West­ern State Col­lege

When you’re at Florida South­West­ern State Col­lege, or FSW, you’re part of a big fam­ily that in­cludes nearly 1,000 col­leagues and 22,000 stu­dents. To­gether our im­pact in this re­gion goes far be­yond the fi­nan­cial, which, by the way, is over $410 mil­lion in Lee County alone. While that can be eas­ily cal­cu­lated, there’s an­other im­pact that is just as im­por­tant: peo­ple. Work­ing to­gether, the FSW fam­ily ef­fect is one that car­ries for gen­er­a­tions.

As fac­ulty, staff and ad­min­is­tra­tors, we have a spe­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity of not only en­sur­ing the smooth op­er­a­tions of the col­lege, but also reach­ing out to our stu­dents to make sure they feel wel­come. Our stu­dents have their own ca­reer goals, and we’re here to help them re­al­ize those dreams.

The re­sult? We ed­u­cate and train stu­dents so they are fully pre­pared to fill jobs that make our re­gion a great place to work and play: teach­ers, health­care work­ers, pub­lic-safety spe­cial­ists and busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als, for starters.

Whether it’s a few semesters, two or four years, our stu­dents are in our care as they pur­sue their ca­reer dreams. These stu­dents are an im­por­tant part of the FSW fam­ily. And like fam­ily mem­bers, we cheer them in good times and of­fer guid­ance in chal­leng­ing times.

Along the way, we want our stu­dents to take ad­van­tage of the FSW col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence. This in­volve­ment in­cludes study abroad, un­der­grad­u­ate re­search, over 30 stu­dent clubs, in­tra­mu­ral sports, com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and athletics. Our stu­dents come from this re­gion, around the state, this coun­try and, yes, the world. We host mul­ti­cul­tural events on cam­pus, and our stu­dents show­case their tal­ents in stu­dent­pro­duced the­atri­cal productions, art dis­plays, and orches­tra, jazz and band con­certs.

May 5 marks the first com­mence­ment cer­e­monies in our new Sun­coast Credit Union Arena. How re­ward­ing it will be to see fam­ily and friends there to sup­port these grad­u­ates, and for me per­son­ally shak­ing their hands, it will be grat­i­fy­ing. Just as our stu­dents learn and grow, so too has this in­sti­tu­tion.

Over the years we have de­vel­oped key part­ner­ships with in­sti­tu­tions such as the Univer­sity of Florida, Western Michi­gan Univer­sity, and Naples Com­mu­nity Hospi­tal, Lee Health and many busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tions. This out­reach is part of our goal to be a key re­source for South­west Florida. We are the state leader in fis­cal man­age­ment for Ca­reerSource’s Flori­daFlex Grants, which sup­ports cus­tom­ized train­ing for new hires or busi­nesses in Florida. In the past six years, we have man­aged over $6 mil­lion to train 3,500 new hires for companies in­clud­ing Hertz, Gart­ner, Arthrex and Chico’s FAS.

Our Bar­bara B. Mann Per­form­ing Arts Hall and Sun­coast Credit Union Arena is a cul­tural hub for the re­gion, places for con­certs, per­for­mances, com­mu­nity events, FSW athletics and much more.

This year marks the 55th an­niver­sary of this col­lege. Looking ahead, we’ll con­tinue ed­u­cat­ing and train­ing the pro­fes­sion­als our re­gion needs. The ma­jor­ity of our grad­u­ates stay here to make a pos­i­tive im­pact. We’ll also con­tinue be­ing a good part­ner to area busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions. To learn more, visit us at fsw.edu.

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