State University System Accomplishments
- Business Journals ranked the University of Florida as the No. 7 top public college in the U.S. The recent analysis ranks the 484 four–year public colleges across the
country and evaluated them based on the educational experience they offer students. Other Florida universities that ranked within the top 100 are: Florida State University,
New College of Florida, University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.
- The State University System of Florida six-year graduation rate is ranked 1st compared to the ten largest states (for public four–year universities).
The Board of Governors has prioritized improving the graduation rates of all universities, especially those that still fall below the System goal of 70 percent.
- STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degree production increased more than non-STEM degree production during the past four years for both
baccalaureate degrees and graduate degrees. At the baccalaureate level, STEM degrees have grown 30 percent in the last five years, outpacing the 9 percent
growth in non-STEM disciplines. Graduate STEM degrees grew 17 percent compared to the 3 percent of non-STEM graduate degrees. With the creation of the
newest institution in the SUS-Florida Polytechnic University-it is expected that STEM degree production will continue to grow at an even greater pace.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Florida State University the No. 2 most efficient high-quality university in the country for 2015. U.S.
News looked at the public and private colleges that scored the highest on overall undergraduate academic educational quality but spent relatively less on their educational programs to
achieve that quality.
- Florida International University graduates more Hispanic students––including Hispanic engineers––than any other university in the nation.
- Five Florida public universities appeared on U.S. News and World Report's “Best Global Universities” rankings. The list includes:
Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and University of South Florida.
- Five State University System institutions were included in Princeton Review's “Best Colleges list for 2015.” The universities included are: Florida State University, New College of Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Florida and University of South Florida.
- The State University System is one of the most active public university engines for Research and Development in the country, expending $1.78 billion dollars
in FY 2012–13. Collectively, SUS institutions have had more utility patents awarded in the past five years than any other entity in Florida.
- The State University System has almost 550 institutes and centers conducting research with an average $5.94 ROI for every state dollar invested, and the 11 Centers of Excellence have a
collective ROI of $6.67 for every state dollar invested.
- Florida offers one of the most military–friendly State University Systems in the nation, as evidenced by the “Florida GI Bill,” which waives out–of–state tuition for military veterans.
In addition, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, University of South
Florida and University of West Florida have all received national recognition for being veteran–friendly.
- Florida ranked 2nd in the total number of students who took at least one Distance Learning course. In 2013–14, 12 percent of all the courses sections taught in the System were
offered via Distance Learning, and 54 percent of all students took at least one Distance Learning course.
- In 2015, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity supported cybersecurity research in the State University System by awarding $500,000 in
seed grants to 12 research teams representing 10 State University System universities. The Center will award another $500,000 in seed grants in 2016.
- In January 2016, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity launched New Skills for a New Fight, a fast-track cybersecurity training program for deserving veterans. The program, funded by a $300,000
grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co., includes an internship component. Students earn multiple industry certifications. The program aims to transition veterans into high-demand
post-military careers and to create a talent pipeline in the fast-growing field of cybersecurity.
- The Florida Center for Cybersecurity is guided by a national Board of Advisors chaired by retired Vice Admiral Mike McConnell, former Director of National Intelligence.
The 11-member Board, which formed in 2015, brings nearly 400 years of combined experience in business and global security.
- More than 600 people, including students and cyber security professionals, attended the Florida Center for Cybersecurity's annual Cybersecurity Conference in October
2015. The event, held in conjunction with national Cybersecurity Awareness Month, included a keynote address from retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency.
- Florida Atlantic University is home to the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center, a federally funded research facility that is developing technology to
generate energy by harnessing the power of Florida's ocean currents
- Since opening in 1997, Florida Gulf Coast University students have performed more than one million service–learning hours in Southwest Florida and earned
institution accolades as a national role model.
- Florida Gulf Coast University's Emergent Technologies Institute is a new, 6.5-acre research-and-development complex that will support new educational
initiatives, enhance regional workforce and economic development, and foster collaboration involving higher education and industry.
- Florida Polytechnic University extends their international partnerships to universities in Brazil and the Kingdom of Morocco. The memoranda of understanding
signed with Centro Universitário de Brusque and Al Akhawayn University open up opportunities for internships and faculty exchange programs. Florida Polytechnic University
students will have the opportunity to do research in Brazil's tourism, transportation and technology industries as well as Morocco's agriculture and phosphate industries.
- Florida Polytechnic University launched STEMStudy.com, a website to assist high school students researching where to enroll for a STEM degree. The webpage includes application checklists
and educational videos about the STEM industry. Florida Polytechnic University's goal is to set students up for success as early as their freshman year. The website also has scholarship and
financial aid resources for students and parents.
- Have you ever caugh a fish and not known what type it was? Florida Polytechnic University student Geoffrey Ruiz and his team solved that problem with an app that provides that information.
It also provides information about habitat and any Florida regulations about that particular fish. The students plan to expand the app's capabilities to identify the fish from a photo.
Geoffrey's fish identifying app is a great example of how Florida Poly's students are applying high-tech solutions to real world problems.
- Florida State University recently received the largest gift in its history - $100 million - from Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation to honor the late Jim Moran and create what will be the
nation's largest interdisciplinary, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship.
- Florida State University's online programs are among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2016 Best Online Programs. Florida State's online graduate programs
in business jumped 22 spots to No. 4 in the latest rankings, while the university's graduate programs in education (No. 3) and criminal justice (No. 5) held steady in the Top 10.
- FSU's Unconquered Scholars Program has been named as a "Model of Excellence" by University Business magazine. The program provides support services to students who have experienced
foster care, homelessness, relative care or ward of the state status.
- Rated Princeton Review's Top 50 Colleges That Pay You Back in 2016 - one of only two Florida colleges to appear on the list. The February 2016 guidebook and ranking system listed
the nation's top colleges for "return on investment," measured by academic quality, cost to students and families, and salaries earned by graduates. New College benefits from high scores on
academics and professors, low tuition and strong mid-career salaries for graduates. The Review also noted the "impressive outcomes" from New College's strong advising system and alumni network,
and the 56 Fulbright Scholarships that have been awarded to NCF students in the last 10 years.
- New College garnered three Fulbright Scholars for 2015-2016. Kyna Patel and August Tupper will spend next year teaching English in Germany and Morocco, respectively. Peter Raab will
spend next year in Colombia, researching ways to best to bring peace and stability to war-torn Colombia.
- 2015 graduating seniors Sarah Oldham and Hilary Ramirez, from New College of Florida, received U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships for,
respectively, three months of intensive study of Turkish language in Ankara, Turkey and three months of intensive Russian language study in Vladimir, Russia.
- Two New College students received semester-long Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for study abroad funded by the U.S. Department of State during 2014-2015: Shana Bergman (Norway)
and Madeleine Yount (Brazil).
- Fourteen New College students earned funded summer internships for 2015. They are Zachary Decker, chemistry, Sandia National Laboratory in California; Nisha Hodge, biology/chemistry,
Colombia U. Summer Public Health Scholar Program; Lindsay Jilk, sociology, U. of Maryland; Kevin Jensen, marine biology, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in II; Paige Leary,
neurobiology, New York U. School of Medicine summer undergraduate research program. Plus Shane Caldwell, Nathan Dyjack, Neal Lacey, biology/chemistry, Dario Mitchell, and Hannah Voic will be going to
the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in NM, and Brad Baker, Caitlyn Ralph, and Nik Wojtalewica will intern at the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, NM.
- Sixteen New College students received highly prized National Science Foundation "REU" (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) grants for summer 2015. The students and institutions at which
they will be studying are Nick Abboud, physics and mathematics, College of William & Mary; Emile C. Barnes, biology, U. of California Riverside; Shana Bergman, computational biology, U. of Pittsburgh;
Anne-Lise Emig, chemistry, U. of Oregon; Kayla Evan, biology, Rutgers University; Alex Galarce, mathematics/biology, U. of Connecticut; Brenna Kirk, chemistry, U. of Bristol (United Kingdom); Jessica Paredes,
chemistry, U. of Oregon; Madison Smith, physics, Maria Mitchell Observatory, Nantucket, MA; Robert Smith, physics and chemistry, Georgetown U.; Maggie Swerdloff, biochemistry/French, CEREGE in
Aix-en-Provence, France. Five more students will hold Mote Marine REU-USFSM grants this summer in Sarasota, FL.
- The innovative DirectConnect to UCF program has enabled more than 26,000 students to earn UCF bachelor's degrees, expanding opportunities for students, particularly those from underrepresented
groups, to earn high-quality, four-year degrees. UCF guarantees admission to graduates of six area state colleges and embeds advisors on the state college campuses to help students make a smooth
transition to the university.
- UCF's student-athlete graduation rate is the nation's best among NCAA Division I FBS public universities and tied for No. 6 overall, trailing only private institutions Duke, Notre Dame, Stanford,
Northwestern and Boston College.
- UCF's Cyber Defense Team was named the best in the nation at a 2014 and 2015 competition organized by Raytheon and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Several team members have graduated and gone on to work for major corporations.
- Tech giant Apple used to recruit employees only in Texas and California. Thanks to the University of Florida, now an Apple "top 5" university for talent, it just added a new location:
- Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked the University of Florida No. 2 on its 2016 list of "Best Values in Public Universities."
- The University of South Florida is ranked No. 25 among public research universities for research spending, according to the latest information recently released by the
National Science Foundation. The university was ranked No. 27 last year.
- The University of South Florida ranks 10th nationally and 13th among universities worldwide for U.S. patents granted in 2014, according to a new report released by the
National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
- USF is ranked No. 1 nationally by Money magazine and No. 2 by Military Times on their best colleges for veterans lists.
- In August, the Military Order of the Purple Heart recognized the University of West Florida as a "Purple Heart University," a designation awarded to universities for outstanding
service to military service members, veterans, their dependents and their survivors. UWF is now the second university in Florida to earn the honor after Florida A&M earned the designation in 2014.
- UWF received the 2015 Community Engagement Classification, an honor designated to 361 institutions nationwide by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- The University of West Florida received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from "INSIGHT Into Diversity" magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused
publication in higher education. The HEED Award is a national honor, recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- In 2015, the UWF archaeology program identified the archaeological site of the Luna settlement - the first multi-year European settlement in the United States. Discovered in a developed
neighborhood in Pensacola, the artifacts are evidence of the Spanish settlement by Tristán de Luna y Arellano from 1559 to 1561, the earliest multi-year European colonial settlement ever archaeologically
identified in the United States.
- The University of West Florida will soon be home of the first National Writing Project site in the panhandle and the fourth in the state. The program will provide professional development
and resources for teachers to empower them in the classroom and community.
- In 2015, the UWF Division of Student Affairs launched the Undergraduate Board Fellows Program, a volunteer opportunity for students to become involved with local nonprofit organizations.
After being matched with a board mentor, students are immersed in the world of nonprofit organizations, actively participating as non-voting board members, working to complete a project to fulfill an
unmet need and attending check-in sessions with mentors and other program fellows.