Florida Gulf Coast University President Wilson Bradshaw discusses lessons from problems at Penn State and Edison State College, and how FGCU will image campus growth and work with public schools to uplift K-12 learning.
Find text and video highlights at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.
Here are excerpts:
Lytle: Let’s talk about Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s comment about the curriculum at Florida Gulf Coast University and other state universities should be more focused on math and the sciences, more job oriented and maybe some liberal arts.
I think FGCU’s response to that was, “we’re ahead of the curve.”
Bradshaw: Yes, we are. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in a number of degrees we award is STEM areas — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. One of our top majors is biology. We have a college of engineering. We have degrees on both the undergraduate and graduate levels that will prepare students to get jobs in related areas. We are now just finishing up a 65,000-square-foot health sciences building that we’ll occupy in a matter of a couple of weeks.
Lytle: Are you going to be able to open it?
Bradshaw: Oh, absolutely. We’re opening in a couple of weeks; we’ll be moving in next week, and we’re putting the final touches on that. And our intent is to expand programs in the health professions.
So, not only are we ahead of the curve with our degree programs, we also have a Whitaker Center set up for STEM education which develops programs for the public schools when we work with the public schools to encourage interest in science and mathematics in eighth-ninth grade and continue that to higher levels.