Florida college presidents advocate for Last Mile Completion Program

Tallahassee, FL – As classes start back on Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Tallahassee Community College President and Council of Presidents Chair, Jim Murdaugh, and 18 other Florida College System presidents are showing their support for the Last Mile Completion Program. These colleges agree to use existing resources to help these students before receiving funding from the legislature. The Last Mile Completion Program helps students who left college with 12 or fewer credit hours remaining, to complete their first degree.

Governor Ron DeSantis commented, “Sometimes our circumstances in life, whether they be family emergencies or finances, prohibit us from reaching milestones in the time we thought we would. The Last Mile Completion Program will provide comfort to those students who must put their degrees on hold, knowing there is a pathway and new re-entry point for them when they’re ready to return. This program also benefits Florida when these students are entering the workforce prepared for their chosen profession.”

Commissioner Richard Corcoran underscored the importance of the Last Mile Completion Program when he said, “I want to thank these college presidents for their belief in this program. They each agreed to use existing resources to help these students now and not wait for funding to be granted by the State Board of Education and the Florida Legislature. It is proof of their commitment to their students and our state, showing us exactly how government should work—everyone coming together and putting our students’ success first.”

“It is a problem when our students are running out of money before graduating from college,” said Dr. Jim Murdaugh, President of Tallahassee Community College and Chair of the Council of Presidents. “Governor DeSantis has challenged Florida to move from No. 24 to No. 1 in the nation for its workforce by 2030, and the Last Mile Completion Program is a step in the right direction to achieve that goal.”

A list of Florida colleges who support the Last Mile Completion Program include:

1.      Broward College

2.      College of Central Florida

3.      Daytona State College

4.      Eastern Florida State College

5.      Gulf Coast State College

6.      Indian River State College

7.      Lake-Sumter State College

8.      Miami Dade College

9.      Northwest Florida State College

10.  Palm Beach State College

11.  Pasco-Hernando State College

12.  Polk State College

13.  Santa Fe College

14.  Seminole State College

15.  South Florida State College

16.  St. Petersburg College

17.  State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota

18.  Tallahassee Community College

19.  Valencia College

The criteria for the Last Mile Completion Program includes the following:

·         The student must be a Florida resident,

·         In good academic standing,

·         Within 12 credit hours of completing their first degree, and

·         Must attend a regionally accredited postsecondary institution within the past 8 years.

Governor DeSantis, Commissioner Corcoran, and these presidents of the Florida College System know that the Last Mile Completion Program will create a pathway for many returning students to earn their degree. As Florida’s workforce engine, the Florida College System knows that continuing to develop Florida’s talent pipeline for workforce needs is a top priority for business owners in Florida, and the Last Mile Completion Program is part of the solution.