By Jeannette Rivera-Lyles
Florida Technical College, which has campuses in central and southern Florida, recently reorganized its operational structure to increase its resources and academic offerings.
Founded 35 years ago in Florida, the educational institution merged with National University College (NUC), which until recently had been a sister institution. NUC also took under its tutelage The Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School and Lasalle Computer Learning Center. The Instituto de Banca y Comercio and Ponce Paramedical College, two Puerto Rican institutions, complete the new conglomerate under NUC.
“By uniting these institutions to work toward a common goal of delivering high-quality education, we have taken an extraordinary step to create a broader and more efficient educational platform,” declared Dr. James Burkett, president of Florida Technical College. “This will give us access to an excellent bank of talent and resources in Florida and Puerto Rico that we would not have otherwise.”
NUC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U. S. Secretary of Education. This accreditation extends to every academic unit of the organization. Technically, the credits from one entity with regional accreditation can be accepted by a greater number of entities, including those with national accreditation, thus improving the possibility of transferring credits, especially to other academic units accredited by MSCHE or colleges within the NUC conglomerate.
Gloria E. Baquero, president of NUC, will continue as leader of the institution. The university now has a combined total of 28 campuses in Puerto Rico and Florida, 3,000 employees, and 20,000 students.
“With this merger, our schools reach a milestone in the field of higher education by creating a platform of educational services with diverse offerings,” stated Baquero. “Over the years, we have constantly expanded our academic offerings and dedicated time and resources to the accreditation of our programs. Today, we can say that we have positioned ourselves to have a greater impact on the progress and well-being of our communities by uniting as a common front.”
With campuses in Orlando, Lakeland, DeLand, Kissimmee, Cutler Bay, and Pembroke Pines, as well as online programs, FTC offers associate and bachelor’s degrees, and diplomas in a wide range of academic areas and industries. These include health, business, construction, information technology, criminal justice, hospitality, and beauty.
The merger of education centers coincides with a massive migration of Puerto Ricans to the continental United States. FTC is offering programs to help newcomers join the workforce. To this end, the institution began offering Spanish versions of its Electrical and Culinary Arts diplomas.
“The migration of Puerto Ricans to Florida has increased exponentially in the last decade and Hurricane María has only accelerated the phenomenon,” declared Robert Cruz, who oversees the Electrical Diploma program and is the main instructor. “The fact is that they arrive at a time when the economy is healthy and there are many companies searching for qualified personnel. With the right training, they can start contributing to the economy in a short amount of time.”
For additional information about FTC programs, call (855) 976-6481 or visit www.ftccollege.edu.*National University College (NUC) is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267) 284-5000.