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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Program Evaluation & Justification Review Florida's Community College System, Report No. 98-06A, August 1998
Full report in PDF format

  • The Community College System is an important part of Florida's overall education system. While the state could eliminate the Community College System, this option would greatly reduce the state's ability to provide postsecondary education opportunities to its citizens. Community colleges, which served over 750,000 students in 1996-97, are required by law to admit any student who has a high school diploma or equivalent. Eliminating the Community College System at this point would also result in a major disruption of the state's workforce development initiatives and would hinder the state's ability to offer job-training programs to its citizens.
  • Although Florida's Community College System is needed, the system needs to improve its graduation and retention rates for students enrolled in the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs. Sixty-six percent of the first-time-in-college students seeking degrees who enroll in these programs neither earn a community college degree or certificate nor continue their education at a state university.
  • Students completing the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs generally receive the expected benefits from their training. However, OPPAGA found that students completing Adult Vocational certificate programs are less likely to benefit from the training received.
  • In addition to program performance, we also assessed the community college funding process. Overall, we found that Florida's community college funding process could be improved to help ensure that colleges receive a level of funding that is suitable for the specific programs provided and students served. The funding process could also be improved to provide an additional incentive for colleges to improve their AA degree programs.
  • Overall, the community college accountability process has substantially improved in recent years, particularly with the recent efforts to integrate the strategic planning and accountability processes. Additional improvements needed include better information about the system's efficiency and effectiveness in producing desired outputs and outcomes. Also, the Student Data Base System should be improved further to provide more consistent and complete information on system accountability.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Florida College System
Continuing Workforce Education
College Preparatory and Remediation

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 98-07 Community College Revenues and Expenditures, published in August 1998.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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