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September 17, 2012 - Randall W. Hanna, Chancellor of the Division of Florida Colleges, toured Brevard Community College’s Melbourne Campus on Monday to both tout the robustness of the 28-institution Florida College System and to present three checks for student scholarships.
Hanna, who took the reins of the system last November, presented checks totaling $26,617. They came from Florida Blue, formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, $9,634 for students in the allied health area; the Helios Education Foundation, $13,205; and the Bank of America Educational Endowment $3,778. The latter two are for first-generation students.
The BCC Foundation is working to secure a local match for the Florida Blue contribution.
The BCC students who will benefit from the scholarships are part of the 855,000 students served by the Florida College System. The system can count 67 percent of Florida high school graduates who pursue higher education and 82 percent of all minorities in higher education in Florida among its attendees.
BCC is successful in educating those students, ranking first among community colleges in Florida in awarding associate degrees and 19th in the United States. It is 68th in the United States for awarding associate degrees to African-Americans and 76th in the United States for awarding associate degrees to all minorities. BCC also has the highest graduation rate in the Florida College System.
Hanna was welcomed by BCC President Dr. Jim Richey who credited the chancellor’s “strong belief in the importance of providing educational opportunities to enrich the lives of our students and indeed improve our communities.”
Hanna cited the system’s effectiveness, saying the education it provides students is the best in the country.
“You have a lot to be proud of here at Brevard Community College and we have a lot to be proud of in the entire state of Florida,” Hanna said.
“We probably don’t think a lot about what we have. But when I visit with my colleagues from around the country they’re amazed, they’re absolutely amazed that we have something called Common Course Numbering with our universities and they’re amazed about the guaranteed articulation that we have with the universities and the fact that our students are able to move on to a university and guaranteed a spot in a university.”
Hanna also cited the system’s strength of providing both access and job training.
“Some people go ‘those things are inconsistent.’ They’re not inconsistent at all. That’s really what our goal is, is to meet the needs of our community.
“And it’s why here at Brevard you’ve begun to look at things: a new A.S. program in cyber security, a new A.S. program in information technology, a certificate program in 911 and other certificate programs where you are meeting the needs of the community while still at the same time focusing on the general education requirements in the A.A. program which is so critical to the future of this state.”
After his meeting with students, faculty and staff, Hanna, Dr. Richey and college
officials toured the renovation work in Building 2, the installation of a new wood
floor in the gym, the renovated Dr. Joe Lee Smith Teaching Center, the Police Academy
and the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts.