An Exceptional Quality of Training and Education.

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Concerning educational attainment, increasing from 19% in 2014, in 2023, 22.9% of Collier County residents possess a bachelor's Degree. 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 offer 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. Ave Maria University had 475 program completions in 2021.

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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 Immokalee Technical College (I-Tech) is a state-of-the-art technical training center in Florida, provides career and technical education programs for high school students and adults. Immokalee Technical College is fully Accredited by the Commission of Council on Occupational Education (COE) and is also accredited with Cognia. I-Tech had 114 program completions in 2021.

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LWTC is a part of the School Board of Collier County. LWTC is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and the AdvancED Accreditation Commission. In addition, it has accreditations with other industry-specific organizations and affiliations with state and national associations. LWTC had 528 program completions in 2021.

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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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