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Seminole State College
Did you know...Seminole State is among the top 10 fastest growing colleges on the East Coast.
History of the College
What started in 1966 as a few portable classrooms huddled in a former citrus grove is now Seminole State College of Florida, one of the nation’s fastest-growing colleges, with six sites in Seminole County and more than 32,000 students.
On July 1, 1965, the Florida State Legislature signed a charter creating Seminole Junior College as a full-service education provider.
Among the tasks facing Dr. Earl S. Weldon, who was appointed Seminole State’s first president in October 1965, was finding a suitable location for the school. After reviewing many possible sites, he and R.T. Milwee, superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools, chose a lot near U.S. 17-92 and Interstate 4.
When the College opened in 1966, 700 students filled the portables, eager to further their education. Construction of permanent buildings began in 1968, and the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus took shape during Dr. Weldon’s tenure. One after another, the library, faculty offices, student center and other buildings went up, transforming former citrus groves into a metropolitan college campus.
On July 1, 1975, Seminole Junior College became Seminole Community College. By the end of the College’s first decade, enrollment had increased to 14,161.
After 30 years of service, Dr. Weldon retired in 1995. In February 1996, Dr. E. Ann McGee, a community college graduate and administrator at Broward Community College, became the College’s second president. Her clear vision for the College's future has made McGee’s tenure a time of phenomenal growth.
Under her leadership, the College has opened three more campuses and completed an $85 million renovation of its Sanford/Lake Mary Campus that includes the Partnership Center, which opened in 2010. The four-story, 106,000-square-foot Center provides classroom space for University of Central Florida classes and a new library for the region.
The Oviedo Campus opened in January 2001 to serve the educational and workforce development needs of eastern Seminole County. In August 2007, the College celebrated the opening of the Center for Economic Development at Heathrow. The Campus partners Central Florida’s economic development leaders with the College to train the region’s work force in business/technology-related programs, attract and retain leading technology companies in Central Florida, and sustain the driving force behind the region’s economic engine.
The Altamonte Springs Campus, which opened in January 2008, houses the College’s healthcare programs, a diverse offering of A.A. degree courses and adult education. In 2010, the College's District Board of Trustees tripled the size of the Campus with the acquisition of more than 25 adjacent acres.
In 2009, SCC became Seminole State College of Florida to reflect the expanding mission of the College as it begins to offer bachelor's degrees to meet the community's needs for a highly trained work force.
In 2010, Seminole State began offering its first baccalaureate degree, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Interior Design, and received approval to offer four additional four-year degrees.
With its strong focus on academics, Seminole State continues to attract top students. In April 2011, Seminole State continued its unmatched streak of six consecutive Jack Kent Cooke scholars since 2006. The Jack Kent Cooke program is the largest private scholarship in the country for community college students.
In August 2011, the newly renovated third floor of building L on the College’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus became eligible for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Also in 2011, Seminole State received the two largest donations in its history, gifts that will benefit students for years to come. Bob Schmidt, a retired teacher, donated the bulk of his estate, valued at more than $2 million, for endowed student scholarships. In addition, the Wayne Densch Charitable Trust made a $2 million donation for naming rights to the Partnership Center on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. Eighty-five percent of the gift will be used for non-endowed scholarships for first-generation students.
Seminole State began offering four more baccalaureate degrees in January 2012: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in Architectural Engineering Technology, Business and Information Management, Construction, and Information Systems Technology.
For nearly 50 years, Seminole State has thrived by adapting to and meeting the needs of an ever-changing community. By offering high-quality educational programs and services, the College continues to provide students and area residents a multitude of resources. Now, and in the years to come, opportunities for personal growth abound at Seminole State.
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