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					Partners: Florida Credit Union/Academy of Finance, Buchholz High School
Project Name: Bobcat Branch, Florida Credit Union
Lead Partner: Kelley Kostamo, (352) 955-6900

Florida Credit Union’s crowning achievement has been a partnership with the Academy of Finance at Buchholz High School.
In 2001 the partners began operating a branch of the credit union on campus. This branch serves the faculty, staff and students
of Buchholz and looks and operates like any other branch of the credit union. It has a teller line with three stations, large
television sets that share financial news, plush waiting room chairs, large wooden desks for the customer service managers, and
a small vault. The biggest difference between this small branch and any other is that this branch is run by the high school
students. The staff includes a branch manager, three assistant managers, six tellers, five service representatives, two
receptionists, two auditors and five marketers. Some of the student-developed marketing plans include promotions for students
to open savings accounts for the prom and to enter to win a free limo ride to prom. In the fall, they ran a very successful new
member campaign, with new accounts being entered into a drawing for an X-box. A student favorite is the exclusive Buchholz
Bobcat ATM card that they receive when opening a checking account.

 Set-up and benchmarks. Initial setup of the branch cost the credit union close to $75,000. On-going costs are incurred
because of data communications equipment, staff time, and credit union collateral resources. In addition, with average balances
of only $63, the actual maintenance of the accounts is a cost to the credit union. However, the board and management remain
dedicated to this project because of the long-term benefits including a pool of staff members, continued account usage, and a
strong relationship with adults affiliated with the school.

Since opening, the student-run facility has had an excellent record of success. The individual banking stations and the branch as
a whole undergo quarterly audits. In every case since opening, this branch exceeds expectations. Tellers are always in balance.
The students are allowed to set their own goals with Florida Credit Union management approval. They set goals for number of
active accounts, number of new accounts and transactions per day.

Constant Training. Each summer, the credit union employs at least 5 students from the Academy of Finance. These
individuals work in various departments of the credit union, with a primary focus on cash handling and account maintenance.
Students participate in standard training programs, along with other new staff of the credit union. Initial training takes 2 weeks,
with hands-on applications occurring for another 2 weeks. The students designated as “branch managers” also work with senior
tellers and credit union branch managers to learn about scheduling, setting and tracking sales goals, trouble shooting, problem
solving, interviewing, and other administrative functions. Other students may be designated for specialized areas of interest
such as auditing or marketing. In these cases, after the initial 4 weeks of training, the student works in their department of
interest preparing for their job functions that will begin in the fall when school starts.

The Florida Credit Union management team spends at least twelve hours per week mentoring the students on operational issues.
They also help present different financial topics that all of the Academy of Finance students are covering in class. Although
this office will never be a profit center for the business, this company sees the benefits of volunteering to help develop these
students’ skills. They are teaching them in the critical areas of team work, human resources, time management, and employee
relations using the inner workings of their industry. The long term benefits of this type training are truly immeasurable. “It has
really been a dream come true for me and the students in the Academy of Finance,” says retired Academy Director Annette
Jenkins. “There is no better way to learn than a hands-on environment like this.”

Student Success. Paige Cicale is a graduating senior this year. In the summer of 2002, she was the marketing intern at Florida
Credit Union. During the summer months, she learned how to use graphic design software, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft
Publisher, used by the credit union and by other many other businesses. She created a newsletter designed for the account
holders of the high school to remind them that they could use their accounts through the summer. She worked with other
department staff on promotional campaigns and trade shows. In the fall when school started, she managed the marketing group
at the school branch. They developed three membership campaigns, created an incentive program, designed ads and video
commercials, and continued with the newsletter production. Paige’s work with the committee was a direct result of her summer
internship. She obtained very marketable skills that she will be able to use in the future. Because of all of her experiences over
the summer and during the school year, Paige was selected to receive a $20,000 full college scholarship from Citigroup and the
National Academy Foundation this year. This honor is only bestowed upon the ten best applicants each year from around the

Florida’s Best – Business and Education Partnerships
Idea Book 2003
Partners: School Board of Alachua County/Shands Hospitals/ Suwannee River Area Health Education
Project Name: Health Careers Opportunity Partnership
Lead Partner: Linda Nichols; (352) 395-7396;

The under-representation of disadvantaged individuals in the health professions has cast a shadow, both locally and
nationally, over our nation’s efforts to develop a more competitive, representative and productive healthcare
workforce. In spite of efforts to address the problem, the health care shortage remains an issue in the country and
within the region of North Central Florida. Santa Fe Community College’s Health Careers Opportunity Partnership
(HCOP), a federal grant program established in 1998, has joined forces with three innovative partners -- Suwannee
River Area Health Education Center, School Board of Alachua County, and Shands Hospitals -- to form an inclusive
network that provides both educational and employment opportunities for the citizens of North Central Florida.

Banishing Barriers. Working together, we have identified specific barriers for disadvantaged students seeking
healthcare careers. These barriers include (1) lack of academic preparation, (2) lack of knowledge of the college
experience and financial aid opportunities, (3) a sense of disconnection to traditional college culture, (4) limited
experience with and exposure to healthcare careers and (5) few healthcare role models. The commitment of HCOP
and our network of partners is to provide disadvantaged individuals with opportunities to develop the necessary
skills to facilitate their entry into, retention in, and graduation from one of the targeted Santa Fe’s Health Sciences
programs and further to transfer into upper division health professions schools and/or gain employment in high-
growth, high-wage, high-demand occupations.

Roles and Objectives. Suwannee River Area Health Education Center (AHEC), a community organization that
serves a 12-county rural area, acts as a pipeline for student recruitment and educational opportunities. The Alachua
County School Board helps identify students who would benefit from health care education and training and
collaborates with HCOP to address curriculum needs to create a seamless transition between high school and
college. Shands Hospitals -- Florida’s second largest employer and one of the most comprehensive referral medical
centers the southeast U.S. -- provides educational opportunities, shadowing, internships and professional
development seminars for HCOP students at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. Shands also recruits and
employs a significant number of our health science graduates.

Core objectives of HCOP: (1) provide preliminary education to educationally disadvantaged high school students
who are interested in the health sciences by conducting both a two-week High School Summer Institute and a two-
semester Saturday Academy for high school students (2) to increase academic preparedness and enhance the college
experience for disadvantaged college students by offering a six-week College Summer Institute with additional
services (i.e., mentoring, comprehensive retention services, scholarship and financial aid information sessions), and
(3) to increase the number of minorities in healthcare professions.

Recruitment. HCOP and its partners have developed a recruitment plan to establish a solid pipeline of motivated
disadvantaged high school and college students from Alachua and surrounding rural counties. Each summer, 25
disadvantaged rising sophomores and juniors are selected to participate in a two-week High School Summer
Institute. The goal of this program is to enhance students’ success in math, science, and general life skills. HCOP’s
Saturday Academy, a 180-hour program (30 Saturdays) for high school juniors and seniors, provides academic
enrichment and health professional career awareness. Students visit underserved clinical sites, use technical
healthcare diagnostic equipment, and prepare for SAT/ACT tests and plan for a college curriculum. Each year, 30
disadvantaged college students are chosen for the College Summer Institute. The Institute is a six-week (180-hour)
summer program that includes communications; hands-on science; math and technology instruction; college
survival, cultural competency and wellness workshops; and shadowing experiences in area clinical facilities.

Student Success. One of the most profound successes is Tosheiba McFadden who defied extraordinary odds to earn
an Associate of Science degree in Radiography Technology and a certificate in Sonography. Tosheiba was the first
HCOP student to graduate from a program. She is a single parent of three who had no transportation, limited
financial resources, and no family support. She was a high school dropout. She eventually earned her GED and
became the first person in her family to attend college. While attending school full time, she also worked full time.
She graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.58.

Florida’s Best – Business and Education Partnerships
Idea Book 2003
                                                                                   Santa Fe Tech Prep Partnerships

Partners: Santa Fe Community College/School Board of Alachua County/Bradford Union Vocational–
Technical Center/Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce /North Florida Regional Chamber of
Commerce /Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation
Project Name: Santa Fe Tech Prep Business/Education Partnerships
Lead Partner: Fran Holm; (352)395-5366;

The Santa Fe Tech Prep Partnerships exemplify a long-term, mutually beneficial collaboration among local
Chambers of Commerce, Santa Fe Community College (SFCC), Alachua County School District, Bradford Union
Vocational-Technical Center and 812 local business partners addressing the economic needs of the region and
Florida. The partnerships have provided student graduation and employment to 9,323 high school and college
students in workforce preparation programs with work-site educational experiences targeting local and statewide
high skills/high demand employment sectors and workforce shortages. The Santa Fe Tech Prep Partnerships have
been recognized as exemplary for their excellence and innovation as validated models and prototypes by national
and international organizations and conferences, consequently increasing international awareness.

Innovation and Diversity. Santa Fe Tech Prep business/education partnerships give students many options on their
paths to successful careers and match high–quality graduates with employers locally and statewide through
networking and electronic linkages like the Florida Chamber’s NationJob Network. With the support of local
business partners, work-site internships are provided for students and their teachers. Work-site mentors or
preceptors are assigned to students and teachers to facilitate learning. Teachers participating in internships
subsequently prepare instructional units based upon their experiences in the workplace.

One example of innovative Tech Prep business/education partnerships is Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation
and the SFCC Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Program. This partnership was established in 2000 to meet the
needs of the emerging biotechnology industry. Students develop a basic set of occupational competencies and
problem-solving skills, which are further specialized individually through internships. The program serves many
students traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. The program is sustained by a partnership among SFCC,
University of Florida and numerous biotechnology industry partners, including Applied Genetic Technologies
Corporation. The partnership includes curriculum development through establishment of occupational competencies,
program support and assessment through the activities of an advisory board, workplace access and mentoring of
students enrolled in the capstone internship course. SFCC Tech Prep biotechnology technician graduates and interns
sustain the Biotechnology Development Institute, a business incubator for 40 start-up biotechnology companies, and
successful incubator “graduate corporations ” like Exactech that contribute significantly to the economic development
of Florida and are linked nationally and internationally through BioFlorida and BioLink organizations.

The Santa Fe Tech Prep Partnerships are innovative not only in their collaboration, but also in their emphasis upon
entrepreneurial and international business practices through SFCC’s International Business Practice Firm (IBPF)
enterprise. The partnerships initiated use of the NationJob Network, other databases and employer roundtables to
match graduates and jobs. The biotechnology program stands at the forefront as an innovative curriculum prototype
for a nationally and internationally emerging industry. This educational/ biotechnology industry partnership
positions itself in a distinctive niche in the region and state of Florida. Business partners (including the
biotechnology incubator) truly mentor students to gain experience on the cutting edge of the industry with links to
national and international markets through BioFlorida and BioLink.

Student Success. Heather Kintner is an example of the difference these partnerships make in the educational and
business communities and in students’ lives. Heather worked as a grocery store cashier to support herself and her
mother, but she became the first in her family to attend college. After completing SFCC, she participated in a paid
internship at Applied Genetic Technology Corporation (AGTC) where she was mentored by senior research
associate Tammy Mandell. AGTC specializes in application of adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a tool for genetics
research and gene therapy with national and international validation. Heather was hired by AGTC immediately
upon graduation and was quickly promoted within the company. She is now responsible for producing genetically
engineered viruses used to treat human patients by gene therapy. Heather also now supervises and mentors one of
the newest SFCC biotechnology program graduates, another SFCC intern subsequently hired by AGTC.

Florida’s Best – Business and Education Partnerships
Idea Book 2003
Partners: Florida Community College at Jacksonville/United States Armed Forces
Project Name: The Military Education Institute
Lead Partner: Mike Sowards; (904) 633-8406;

For more than 30 years, Florida Community College at Jacksonville has effectively identified and fulfilled the
education and workforce needs of the U.S. Armed Forces in Northeast Florida. Since formally establishing the
Military Education Institute in September 2000, FCCJ has set the standard for the development of responsive and
innovative training and education programs for the military. From the Navy’s Home Port Training to the SOCCOAST
AFLOAT program, the MEI has developed the means to integrate military training and formal education to provide
certificate and degree opportunities to service men and women on an “any time–any place” basis.

Innovation. Located in a major fleet concentration area, FCCJ is a charter member of the Servicemembers
Opportunity College (SOC) and has partnered with the Armed Forces and numerous colleges and universities to
develop accelerated programs that combine military training with the academic requirements of various associate and
bachelor degrees. These partnerships formally began in 1999, when the Chief of Navy Education and Training
(CNET) awarded FCCJ a contract to conduct a number of Navy “C” school courses via the Navy’s Home Port
Training program (HPT). As one of four original HPT institutions, FCCJ used this opportunity to advance its process
of converting military training into college credit by using course evaluative guidelines established by the American
Council on Education (ACE). Awarding the ACE credit gave many sailors the jump they needed to pursue a college

Nuclear Training. Fall 2000, established FCCJ as the only community college selected to offer the Navy Nuclear
Tech Prep program, in which delayed enlisted high school students can earn college credit while in high school. After
graduation, these students enroll for two terms at FCCJ and then attend Nuclear Power school. Upon completion,
appropriate college credits are awarded for the Nuclear Power training (in accordance with ACE guidelines) and
sailors earn a lucrative A.S. Degree in Industrial Management Technology. This degree has been adapted with other
military tracks, such as computer and industrial training.

This nuclear power contract gave the MEI the opportunity to establish a prototype for combining training and work
experience with general education to accelerate the acquisition of associate degrees. Since then, similar programs have
been established with the military leading to associate degrees in areas such as computer technology, food services,
and criminal justice. If a student has a professional interest and military training or experience in any workforce
program offered by FCCJ, the MEI will customize a plan of study to accelerate degree completion and facilitate the
graduate’s pursuit of a job or further education. The articulation standards and processes established by the MEI are
applicable to non-military training and work experience and have been incorporated into numerous workforce and
liberal arts degree programs.

Traditionally, these specialized training programs and general education courses have been offered to military
personnel and their families through FCCJ’s five campuses, four college centers, and two military college centers
(N.A.S. Jacksonville and N.S. Mayport).

Distance Learning. September 2000, FCCJ was selected to provide AA degree programs via distance learning to
sailors through the Navy College Partners Program. FCCJ was one of only five community colleges and thirteen
universities awarded this five-year contract. Inspired by this opportunity to provide military personnel global access to
higher education, FCCJ invested $400,000 of its strategic initiative fund to transform its off-campus curriculum,
student services, and delivery modes to become a leading global distance-learning provider. In fact, over 75% of the
distance learners enrolled in this Navy program are “out-of-state,” spanning 16 states and 17 countries. Furthermore,
since the inception of this initiative, now known as the Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership
(NCPDLP), enrollment has steadily increased from 35 sailors in Spring 2001 to 187 sailors in Spring 2003, enrolled
for 957 semester hours.

Student Success. Kathryn Hensley, Navy Counselor First Class with the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, VA,
discovered FCCJ while searching the Internet for a college to accept her credits from colleges in Texas, New Mexico,
and Georgia. She was thrilled to learn that FCCJ would not only transfer most of her credits, but would also award
credit for her military experience. She was sold when she learned that she could earn her associate’s degree online,
stating, “This is exactly what I’m looking for.” After two years as a part-time student utilizing only online courses,
Kathryn graduated from FCCJ and is currently a junior at Fort Hays State University. She is a valuable member of the
military and the national workforce.
Florida’s Best – Business and Education Partnerships
Idea Book 2003

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