Local College Access Networks Build Momentum Across Florida

July 25, 2014
Casey Sanchez, Florida C.A.N.!

Over the past several months, five local college access networks have formed across Florida in the regions around Orlando Jacksonville, Ft. Meyers, Tampa, and Palm Beach (see graphic).


In total, they represent 16 counties and 38 percent of the state’s population. 
Local college access networks (LCANS) are community-based strategic alliances devoted to dramatically increasing college and career readiness, access and attainment, particularly for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Bolstered by a team of leaders representing K-12, higher education, business, philanthropy, local government, and nonprofits, LCANs commit themselves to lowering the barriers for students pursuing education and training beyond high school. Florida C.A.N.! applauds the early successes of these LCANs and looks forward to their future achievements.

Central Florida College Access Network, Northeast Florida College Access Network, and FutureMakers in southwest Florida are among the 55 communities chosen to date by Lumina Foundation to join a national effort to increase the percentage of community residents holding high-quality degrees and certificates. Communities receive technical and planning assistance, data tools, flexible funding, and the ability to customize attainment plans that will best suit their regional needs.

Central Florida College Access Network is coordinated by the Heart of Florida United Way and serves the Orlando metro region comprised of Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. Northeast Florida College Access Network, coordinated by the Greater Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, encompasses the Jacksonville metro region including the counties of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns. FutureMakers, coordinated by Southwest Florida Community Foundation, serves the counties of Lee, Hendry, Glades, Collier, and Charlotte in Southwest Florida. Hillsborough College Access Network is spearheaded by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Palm Beach County College Access Network is coordinated by the Palm Beach County Education Commission. 

Leaders throughout our state recognize the urgency of increasing the number of Floridians holding quality postsecondary degrees and credentials in order to build their regions’ 21st century talent pools. Florida C.A.N.! is grateful for their partnership as we work together to boost the number of working-age Floridians with postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025.

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