We're No. 1 (again)
Florida's community colleges - which appear on track to become a state colleges - have outperformed their more than 1,200 peers nationally in the granting of degrees for the sixth consecutive year, Community College Week reports.
The state system led all others with 44,843 associates degrees awarded last year. It also was ahead of the pack in degrees granted to African-American students and Hispanic students, and the number of degrees awarded in health professions, nursing and liberal arts.
Locally, St. Petersburg College was the top performer, ranking 11th in the nation for total degrees. It was fourth for total nursing degrees. Hillsborough Community College logged in at No. 30 overall, and 23rd in nursing degrees. To see a further breakdown from the state, click here.
We've seen the trend that folks are heading back to college for additional job training to combat the bad economy. These numbers could continue to rise. The Florida Department of Education says that's what they're there for.
"Florida's community colleges are an integral part of our education system," Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith said in a news release. "I commend them on their long-standing commitment to open access for all students and the invaluable role they play in preparing a skilled workforce for Florida's economy."
Time will tell if lawmakers will fund the system - state college or otherwise - to allow such education to continue to grow.