CTE in Florida
Career technical education is central to the mission of many top community colleges in Florida. Also known as CTE, career technical education refers to programs that are designed to give students practical skills to be used in a specific occupation.
CTE in Florida falls into 17 different career clusters. These include architecture and construction, energy, health science and manufacturing. Two-year schools typically offer education pathways within each cluster. For instance, within the health sciences cluster, colleges may have pathways that lead to jobs in therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services or biotechnology research and development.
Students don't have to wait until college to begin preparing for a career either. CTE initiatives in Florida can begin in high school:
- Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to earn college credit early in both academic and CTE programs.
- SkillsUSA Florida brings together students and teachers to promote CTE in Florida through various activities and events.
- The School Board of Broward County received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2017 for additional CTE teachers in the areas of computer science and information technology.
Visit the websites of the top community colleges in Florida to see what CTE programs they offer. You can also ask to be connected with an admissions counselor who may be able to provide additional information about career clusters and pathways. Or you can visit these links:
- Career Clusters - The Florida Department of Education lists all 17 career clusters here. Click on each cluster to see the pathways associated with it.
- Apprenticeships - Apprenticeships are another way to gain career skills in Florida, and this Florida Department of Education website provides details about registered apprenticeships.
Transferring Credits in Florida
Administrators in the Florida College System (FCS) understand that many community college students hope to transfer their credits into a four-year university study plan once they graduate with their associate degree. As such, the state provides a pathway for guaranteed transfer of credits from FCS colleges into relevant university programs.
This approach to completing a bachelor's degree is known as 2+2. The statewide 2+2 agreement guarantees the transfer of credit to most public universities in Florida, as well as certain private institutions that are members of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF).
The 2+2 agreement is designed for credits earned in pursuit of an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree. Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees in Florida are most commonly used for workforce training programs, but many bachelor's programs in the state will also accept A.S. degrees for 2+2 transfer. It's important to note that not every two-year school in Florida is a member of the FCS, so don't forget to meet with your adviser and discuss your transfer options.
For more insight into education in the state, be sure to explore the top four-year schools in Florida. Plus, our guide on How to Transfer Colleges goes into greater details about how to switch schools.
Resources for Community College Students in Florida
The Florida College System - Public community colleges belong to The Florida College System, and this site provides information about admissions, financial assistance and more.
Office of Student Financial Assistance - If you need help paying for college, OSFA has information on Florida scholarships and grants.
Florida College Access Network - Hosted by the University of South Florida System, this initiative is working to ensure all Floridians have access to higher education.
Using the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:
- Level of institution is either "At least 2 but less than 4 years" or " Less than 2 years (below associate)"
- Data is reported for all 14 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
We ranked the resulting community colleges member schools on multiple factors related to educational opportunity, student performance and student services. Each school was scored on a 10-point scale, using the following data points:
- The published in-district tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018
- The published in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018
- The in-district per credit hour charge for part-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018
- The in-state per credit hour charge for part-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018
- Percentage of students receiving financial aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
- Percent of students that transferred to a 4-year institution and completed within 8 years, College Scorecard, 2017
- The graduation rate in 150% time, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017
- Full-time student retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2017
- Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2017
- Percentage of students enrolled in distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017
- Flexibility, based on the following data points from the National Center for Education Statistics, 2018
- Whether the school offers credit for life experiences
- Whether the school offers programs of study that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
- Whether the school offers on-campus day care for students’ children
- Whether the school offers any kind of alternative tuition plan. These may include, but aren’t limited to, payment plans or guaranteed rates.