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College completion campaign boasts successes

At Seminole State, the Finish Up, Florida! campaign has resulted in a 16.3% increase in graduates.

The Florida College System's (FCS) Finish Up, Florida! campaign has succeeded in boosting the number of students graduating by almost 15 percent in 2012 and 2013.

At Seminole State College of Florida, the increase was 16.3 percent.

In a three-year period, more than 78,000 students left the FCS without earning a degree. The Florida Department of Education launched the Finish Up, Florida! campaign in 2011 to identify those students and bring them back.

The campaign added 11,543 graduates in 2012 and 2013. The campaign was a coordinated effort by all 28 Florida colleges to encourage students who left without completing their studies to re-enroll and finish their degrees.

“All students should be afforded the opportunity to finish their college education,” said FCS Chancellor Randy Hanna. “I commend our colleges for embracing Finish, Up, Florida! and our students for investing in their futures.”

Each college received a list of students who dropped out before earning degrees. Colleges mailed personalized letters encouraging students to visit FACTS.org – now the Florida Virtual Campus – to see what they needed to do to complete their degrees. Once on the Web, students followed five easy steps to learn how to re-enroll. Colleges also embraced a personalized approach by creating teams to guide students through the process.

As of May 2013, 11,543 students earned degrees as a result of the campaign – almost 15 percent of the 78,000 students who left the FCS without earning a degree. An additional 12,000 students were enrolled in the 2013 spring term.

“In addition to providing access to affordable educational opportunities, the Florida College System is committed to the success of our students,” said Chancellor Hanna. “Finish Up, Florida! is an excellent example of how our system innovates to meet the educational and workforce needs of our students.”

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