In its first 50 years, Santa Fe College has matured from a small community college of 1,000 students into a strong four-year college offering a rich and wide variety of educational opportunities to more than 27,000 individuals each year on seven campus locations and online. In every way, the college has proven to be a vital part of the communities it serves in north central Florida. Over the years, Santa Fe College has risen in excellence, culminating with the Aspen Institute naming it No. 1 among community colleges nationwide in 2015. The college offers one-year certificates, two-year technical degrees, bachelor’s degrees and transfer degrees to top universities. Programs are designed to meet a variety of career goals and timelines. “Over the years, the college has stayed true to its guiding mission of making higher education accessible to everyone,” said Ralph Cellon, who served on the committee that established the college and is still a member of the Santa Fe College Foundation Board. “The college does that in two equally important ways: preparing students to transfer to four-year institutions and training the local workforce. The programs that prepare students to transfer provide a stepping stone,” Cellon said. “There is a need to serve people who aren’t able to pay to go to a four-year school right away or who don’t have a scholarship,” Cellon added. “The workforce training is also vital. Not everyone needs to be a doctor or lawyer or CEO. We need firefighters, police officers and plumbers, too.” A Fulfilling College Experience Santa Fe College boasts a vibrant student life with a full calendar of events put on by scores of student organizations. SF’s four athletic teams consistently rank high among NJCAA competitive teams, and for non-athletes they offer a free fitness center and intramural sports. Located on the SF Northwest campus, the UF at SF center is the physical embodiment of SF’s partnership with the University of Florida. Part study hall, part advisement center, it’s the home base for current and future Gators at SF. State colleges tend to have a reputation as commuter schools – this is not so at SF. Only about half of the student population are locals. More than 48 percent of our students are from outside our service district, including students from more than 100 foreign countries. The largest online destination for college professor ratings annually releases a list ranking the nation’s top university professors based entirely on students’ input. SF professors are consistently ranked among the top ten university professors. Santa Fe College has one of the lowest costs of attendance of all higher education institutions in Florida. In fact, while many schools have raised tuition year after year, SF has kept rates flat. The college also provides tens of thousands of dollars each term in student aid in the form of grants and scholarships. Academic life is highlighted by an honors program, student government, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, model United Nations, “Research in Undergraduate Education” programs and annual festival, and an international program that features study abroad in eight foreign countries each year. Partnering with Businesses and Industry for Shared Success Business and industry partnership support is essential to SF’s career and technical education programs. Collaboration with local partners helps SF provide students with a high quality education that leads to jobs aligned with the dynamic growth of business in Florida. These partnerships help the college educate and prepare the workforce to meet the high demands of employers for highly skilled, highly trained employees. Among the many kinds of support SF receives from its community partners are professional advice, financial support, internships in clinical settings, employment and assistance with the law and regulation. Santa Fe College clinical internships provide students with practical, hands-on experience in workplace laboratory settings. In these settings, students learn to integrate theory and instructional knowledge into real-world practice. One of Santa Fe’s best partners is the University of Florida. The university annually accepts nearly 70 percent of SF associate degree graduates who apply to transfer to the UF. Embracing Innovation A Closer Look at Santa Fe College’s Incubator Programs Santa Fe College’s incubator programs provide entrepreneurs the collaborative workspace and consulting resources they need to grow a vision into a thriving company. The programs include weekly peer group meetings which provide a regular forum for the entrepreneurs to collaboratively celebrate success and solve problems. The Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) Located in downtown Gainesville, on the north side of Innovation Square the CIED Entrepreneur Incubator in the Santa Fe College Blount Center hosts early-stage startups across a broad spectrum of sectors, from traditional service-oriented businesses like catering and furniture moving, to training, education and exam preparation businesses, as well as more technology-focused businesses like web, app and game development. Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) Managed by Santa Fe College, the Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) is open to entrepreneurs in the technology field. Less than two miles east of downtown Gainesville on Southeast Hawthorne Road, GTEC also offers plenty of free parking, close proximity to multiple bus routes and bicycle racks. GTEC entrepreneurs enjoy working in a purpose-built incubator, with both labs and offices, which have helped launch a number of large, successful companies. The Bradford County Incubator The Bradford County Incubator is a program provided by Santa Fe College’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development in partnership with CareerSource North Central Florida, a federally funded agency and grant recipient. Training and support are created around each participant’s target business in a process-based approach. The training program is available at no cost to eligible participants. Specialized instruction is given in the areas of, starting a small business, understanding how to hire and maintain employees, learning how to market products and services, instruction on how to purchase effectively, the use of E-Business, record keeping essentials, tax facts and business planning. Whether you need specialized training to reach your career goals, represent a business needing cutting-edge training for your employees or are an entrepreneur seeking business support, Santa Fe College’s Incubator Programs are here to meet your needs. For further information, please visit sfcollege.edu/cied. Santa Fe College’s Perry Center for Emerging Technologies The Charles R. and Nancy V. Perry Center for Emerging Technologies is located in Alachua, Fla., the heart of Florida’s high-tech corridor, about 13 miles from SF’s Northwest Campus. The Perry Center provides citizens of northern Alachua County an opportunity for a college education close to home. The Perry Center focuses specifically on emerging technology degrees. The 30,000 square foot building opened in 2009 and has functioning laboratories and state-of-the-art technology classrooms. The Perry Center is intentionally located near Santa Fe High School, which offers a biotechnology program that articulates to the SF Biotechnology A.S. degree, and across the street from Progress Corporate Park. Progress Park, a growing industrial park with approximately 1,000 employees, is anchored by the University of Florida’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, RTI Surgical, lntermed and graduates of the UF Sid Martin Incubator —Nanotherapeutics, Banyan Biomarkers and Axogen. Perry Center Activities STEM Fest Together with the Research in Undergraduate Education initiative, the Perry Center hosts a three-day STEM Fest annually in November. Santa Fe College students and area high schools are invited to display posters showcasing their accomplishments in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math). Each evening the fest features a guest speaker from a STEM discipline. STEM Summer Camp Each summer, Santa Fe College invites rising ninth graders in Alachua and Bradford Counties to apply for a free, weeklong environmental day camp at the Perry Center. Campers have fun with hands-on activities in toxicology, earth and water sciences, DNA science, energy resources and computer gaming. Funding for the camp is provided by the Santa Fe College Perkins Initiative. Other Learning Centers at Santa Fe College The Kirkpatrick Center Opened in 1995, the Kirkpatrick Center is located on 160 acres in Northeast Gainesville near the Gainesville Regional Airport, about 11 miles from SF’s Northwest Campus. Programs offered at the center accommodate the growing need for skilled personnel in emergency medical services, law enforcement and corrections professions in Florida and nationwide. The Kirkpatrick Center is home to the Santa Fe College Institute of Public Safety (IPS), which encompasses SF’s Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services degree programs and certificate programs in Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic. IPS also offers basic recruit training in law enforcement and corrections, courses that lead to licensing and certification required for employment in public safety, and continuing education for sworn law enforcement and corrections officers. SF’s Criminal Justice Technology programs also reside under the IPS umbrella, though courses for this program are offered only at the Northwest Campus. The Andrews Center Santa Fe College’s Andrews Center in Starke, Florida, provides the residents of Bradford County and other nearby areas an opportunity to gain a college education close to home. The Andrews Center is located about 30 minutes Northeast of Gainesville, and offers high school dual enrollment and associate degree programs as well as community and continuing education. Classrooms are located in the historic Bradford County Courthouse and two additional educational buildings nearby. The courthouse was renovated in 1985, and in 1991 a restored cultural building was added, followed by the Lillian Stump Center in 2001 which provides additional classroom space. The center is an integral part of Starke’s downtown redevelopment and restoration. Included in the Andrews Center are the Eugene L. Matthews Historical Museum and a performance venue that provides enhanced educational and cultural opportunities. The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m. The Davis Center Santa Fe College’s Davis Center in Archer, Florida, provides a quality education for those in Archer and southwestern Alachua County, with day and night GED classes and a large list of associate degree options. The Davis Center has SMART classrooms, a computer lab, offices and a community meeting room. Staff at the center are available to proctor exams for SF students enrolled in online courses. The center also provides a high school dual enrollment program for area high school students to earn college credit, allowing them to jump-start their college education. Students receive one-on-one assistance with admission applications, placement testing, registration, advisement and financial aid applications. Students can meet with a math tutor or complete homework on the student computers in the reception area or the computer lab, when available. The Watson Center Santa Fe College’s Watson Center in Keystone Heights, Florida, provides the residents of southeast Bradford County an opportunity to earn a college education close to home. The Watson Center consists of two educational buildings, computer labs, a state-of-the-art science lab, a common meeting area, offices and space for the county constitutional officers and sheriff. Located along Route 21 between Santa Fe Lake and Lake Geneva, the Watson Center is just 30 minutes east of Gainesville. The center was opened its first building in 2005 and a second building in 2006. The property includes a 40-acre mowed area of mixed pines and oaks, a historic borrow pit and an area of somewhat undisturbed upland sand hill habitat. This area, dubbed the “Watson Woods”, is used as an outdoor classroom. The center provides a high school dual enrollment program for local high school students to earn college credit. While they are there, students can talk with advisors about the other programs SF has to offer. They can also meet with a math tutor or complete homework in the Watson Center’s open computer lab. The Blount Center In addition to offering college and GED-preparation courses, the Blount Center also serves as an outreach and educational facility for citizens in Gainesville and surrounding communities. Center faculty and staff deliver training programs for business, industry and employees of city and county government. The center houses free meeting rooms for civic, business and professional groups. Tutoring and computer labs are also available. Students can meet with a math or English tutor in the learning labs or get homework done in the Blount Center’s open computer lab. This urban hub is ideally located for both east and west Gainesville residents. With campus only steps away from shopping, businesses and the University of Florida, the Blount Center makes it easy to take a class during a lunch break or in the evening. With day and night classes for GED, associate and bachelor’s degrees, the Blount Center is a flexible choice for many. Destinations & Cultural Events Santa Fe College is known for more than excellent academics. SF takes pride in being known as Gainesville’s true “community” college, providing a wide variety of enriching cultural activities for residents all year long. The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, a unique 10-acre zoo, is one of only two teaching zoos in the nation and accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Home to over 75 different species of animals, the SF Teaching Zoo is coordinated by eight full-time staff members. The college's Zoo Animal Technology Program is attended by 200 students, and the zoo serves as a hands-on learning lab for the program. The zoo has both native and exotic species on its grounds and can proudly boast that the population includes bald eagles, white-throated capuchin monkeys, Galapagos tortoises, Matschie's tree kangaroo and Asian small-clawed otters, just to name a few. Boo at The Zoo Each October the SF Zoo hosts Boo at The Zoo, Gainesville's favorite Halloween treat for families. Students and staff transform the zoo into a spooky but safe trick-or-treating event for the whole family. Admission to the event is one canned good per person. Cans collected help two charities, Gainesville Harvest and Catholic Charities, which feed families in need from our community. Zoo visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week (except certain holidays). No appointments are necessary, and guests may walk around the zoo on a self-guided tour experiencing the exhibits at their own pace. The zoo trail is stroller and wheelchair accessible. The SF Zoo also hosts a number of conservation and educational programs. Learn more about the SF Zoo at sfcollege.edu/zoo. Star Power: Kika Silva Pla Planetarium The sky is not the limit on Santa Fe College’s Northwest Campus. The Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is a bright spot in Gainesville for stargazers of all ages. The Planetarium was made possible by a generous donation of John Pla and his wife Amy Howard, on behalf of the Pla family, in recognition of his mother, Kika Silva Pla, and her commitment to education and passion for social justice and civic engagement. Since 2006, the 60-seat planetarium has employed innovative technology like the computer-controlled Goto Chronos optical-mechanical projector and an RSA Cosmos 1C-3K In Space System. The ISS 1C-3K transforms the 34-foot dome into one giant, immersive computer screen that surrounds the audience with images, animations and video for a high-tech visual experience guests will never forget. With the ISS 1C-3K, guests are transported to the surfaces of other planets, through the rings of Saturn, out into the galaxy and to the edge of the observable universe. Show topics range from astronomy to ancient cultures, meteorology, geology, health sciences and beyond. Educational field trips will appeal to students from pre-K to college/university levels and are tailored to meet the requirements of the Florida Science Standards. “Star Gazers” is the world’s only weekly television series on naked eye astronomy. Hosted by Santa Fe College’s Planetarium Coordinator James Albury, weekly episodes feature selected objects for naked eye viewing during the following week. Check your local PBS station for show times and dates. For information on shows, times, tickets, and special event reservations visit the planetarium website at sfcollege.edu/planetarium. A Destination for Discovery Additional on campus learning destinations that allow for self-directed discovery include SF’s Jean Klein Rock Cycle Garden, SF’s renewable energy lab, the REAL Lab, the SF ArtWalk and SF’s North Woods natural habitat area. Off campus, SF’s Harvey Sharron Bat Cave Field Laboratory is a truly unique asset to the college. Its dry cavern is a geological anomaly and is the only subterranean classroom of its kind among Florida’s 28 state colleges. The Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory located on Seahorse Key allows our students a deeper dive into marine biology and botany. Santa Fe College Art Galleries The SF Northwest Campus alone boasts four distinct venues for the visual arts. A near constant cycle of exhibits gives students and the community the opportunity to experience works of art from fellow students, professors, community artists and nationally recognized master artists. Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival Each year, Gainesville residents and visitors can stroll tree-lined streets lined with beautiful turn-of-the-century homes in Northeast Gainesville’s Historic District, and attend the Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival. An estimated 100,000 people attend this nationally recognized art show. “Santa Fe College has been the primary sponsor of the Spring Arts Festival since the festival began,” explained Kathryn Lehman, SF Director for Grants and Projects. “Back in 1969, faculty and staff realized there was no fine arts festival in Florida north of Winter Park, so they created Spring Arts. That first year, anyone with a table and anything that could possibly be called art could sell their work.” The festival has since evolved into a juried show and an annual signature event in Florida. Artists from all over the nation apply to compete for entry and for the chance to win their share of the over $20,000 in prizes. The Spring Arts Festival is organized and supported by Santa Fe College and the Santa Fe College Foundation. The festival is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council; the Village Retirement Community; Pomodoro Café; the festival’s Purchase Award sponsors; and the Santa Fe Fine Arts Patrons. For more information on the Spring Arts Festival visit sfcollege.edu/springarts. Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall Built in 2011, this state-of-the-art hall houses successful SF performing groups such as Dance Theatre of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Singers, Santa Fe Jazz Ensemble, Theatre Santa Fe, Santa Fe Percussion Ensemble and the Madrigal Singers. The SF Fine Arts Hall continues year after year to remain a top venue for the performing arts in Florida. Guest-artist series, Broadway musicals, dance and music concerts are offered year-round. The 39,599-square-foot venue also serves as a hands-on learning laboratory for SF’s Fine Arts Programs, providing state of the art rehearsal studios, scene and costume shops and the latest in theatrical technologies. Tickets for departmental events are $15 for adults in the orchestra, $12 in the balcony; and $9 for UF students, patrons over 60 and children under 12. Santa Fe college students, faculty, and staff are free with a valid Santa Fe College ID. Master Artist Series ticket prices vary. Refer to their website at sfcollege.edu/finearts or call them at 352-395-4133 for more information. Believe It Or Not... a Guinness World Record Aside from a collection of culturally significant pieces, sculptures, dishes, paintings and drawings, the Santa Fe College Foundation owns the largest collection of letter openers in the world and holds the Guinness World Record with over 5,000 letter openers verified on 25 October 2012.
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