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2007 Florida Statutes

Community colleges; definition, mission, and responsibilities.
Section 1004.65, Florida Statutes 2007

1004.65  Community colleges; definition, mission, and responsibilities.--

(1)  Community colleges shall consist of all public educational institutions operated by community college district boards of trustees under statutory authority and rules of the State Board of Education.

(2)  Each community college district authorized by law and the Department of Education is an independent, separate, legal entity created for the operation of a community college.

(3)  A community college may provide adult education services, including adult basic education, adult general education, adult secondary education, and General Educational Development test instruction.

(4)  The community colleges are locally based and governed entities with statutory and funding ties to state government. As such, the community colleges' mission reflects a commitment to be responsive to local educational needs and challenges. In achieving this mission, the community colleges strive to maintain sufficient local authority and flexibility while preserving appropriate legal accountability to the state.

(5)  As comprehensive institutions, the community colleges shall provide high-quality, affordable education and training opportunities, shall foster a climate of excellence, and shall provide opportunities to all while combining high standards with an open-door admission policy. The community colleges shall, as open-access institutions, serve all who can benefit, without regard to age, race, gender, creed, or ethnic or economic background, while emphasizing the achievement of social and educational equity so that all can be prepared for full participation in society.

(6)  The primary mission and responsibility of community colleges is responding to community needs for postsecondary academic education and career degree education. This mission and responsibility includes being responsible for:

(a)  Providing lower level undergraduate instruction and awarding associate degrees.

(b)  Preparing students directly for careers requiring less than baccalaureate degrees. This may include preparing for job entry, supplementing of skills and knowledge, and responding to needs in new areas of technology. Career education in the community college shall consist of career certificates, credit courses leading to associate in science degrees and associate in applied science degrees, and other programs in fields requiring substantial academic work, background, or qualifications. A community college may offer career education programs in fields having lesser academic or technical requirements.

(c)  Providing student development services, including assessment, student tracking, support for disabled students, advisement, counseling, financial aid, career development, and remedial and tutorial services, to ensure student success.

(d)  Promoting economic development for the state within each community college district through the provision of special programs, including, but not limited to, the:

1.  Enterprise Florida-related programs.

2.  Technology transfer centers.

3.  Economic development centers.

4.  Workforce literacy programs.

(e)  Providing dual enrollment instruction.

(7)  A separate and secondary role for community colleges includes:

(a)  Providing upper level instruction and awarding baccalaureate degrees as specifically authorized by law.

(b)  The offering of programs in:

1.  Community services that are not directly related to academic or occupational advancement.

2.  Adult general education.

3.  Recreational and leisure services.

(8)  Funding for community colleges shall reflect their mission as follows:

(a)  Postsecondary academic and career education programs and adult general education programs shall have first priority in community college funding.

(b)  Community service programs shall be presented to the Legislature with rationale for state funding. The Legislature may identify priority areas for use of these funds.

(9)  Community colleges are authorized to offer such programs and courses as are necessary to fulfill their mission and are authorized to grant associate in arts degrees, associate in science degrees, associate in applied science degrees, certificates, awards, and diplomas. Each community college is also authorized to make provisions for the General Educational Development test. Each community college may provide access to baccalaureate degrees in accordance with law.

History.--s. 215, ch. 2002-387; s. 91, ch. 2004-357.