An Exceptional Quality of Training and Education.

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Concerning educational attainment, 20.3% of Collier County residents possess a bachelor's Degree − 1.5% above the national average, and 13.8% of Collier County residents possess a graduate degree or higher. The exceptional quality of training and education at the colleges and universities in Collier County and Southwest Florida results in high-quality, employment-focused workforce training; progressive professional education; and opportunities for enrichment designed to meet the changing needs of a diverse community. These institutions of higher learning offering everything from technical certifications to doctorate degrees, as well as an array of vocational and technical institutions.

Collier County’s Educational Institutions

Florida Gulf Coast University is a state university that opened its doors to students in 1997 and is located just north of Collier County. It has over 15,000 students and offers 58 undergraduate programs, 25 masters programs, one specialist program, and six doctoral degree programs.  FGCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).  In addition, the university has specialized accreditation for business, engineering, education, health care, resort and hospitality, and social work.

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Ave Maria University is an accredited Catholic university that has 34 major programs, 28 minor programs, two graduate programs, and 15 different men’s and women’s sports with approximately 900 students.  Ave Maria University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees.  A sister institution is the Ave Maria School of Law, which is fully accredited by the American Bar Association with a student body of nearly 500 that is drawn from almost every state and several other nations.

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Hodges University offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees with the student population of 1,723. Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees. Hodges University has received specialized accreditation for its business and business-related programs through International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

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Florida Southwestern State College offers 26 degrees as well as certificates for other fields of study with over 16,000 students across campuses in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Glades Counties.  It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.

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The School District of Collier County serves nearly 48,000 total students in 29 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, 8 high schools, and a PreK-thru-12 school. There are also 13 Alternative School Programs. The district’s two career/technical centers−Lorenzo Walker Technical College and Immokalee Technical Center−and adult education programs offer students both short- and long-term programs. The District employs approximately 3,200 highly qualified teachers, 49% with advanced degrees.

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Future Ready Collier is a network of organizations, businesses, schools, and community members working to ensure every child in Collier County, Florida, is ready for kindergarten, and every young person enters adulthood with a vision and plans to accomplish that vision. Future Ready Collier is the Collier partner for the regional FutureMakers Coalition, seeking to transform the Southwest Florida workforce by increasing the number of college degrees, certificates, or other high-quality credentials from 27 percent to 40 percent by 2025.

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