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College Forum Volume 17, Number 3 : Page 1

MIAMI DADE COLLEGE COLLEGE f orum September 2013 • Volume 17 • Number 3 2 MILLION STRONG Miami Dade College Admissions Reach Major Milestone More than 50 years ago, Miami Dade College proudly opened its doors to its first 1,428 stu-dents with the idea that anyone with a desire to get a college degree should be given that oppor-tunity. Few of the College’s earliest leaders likely could anticipate this fledgling community college would grow to become the largest college in the nation. And now MDC, whose humble begin-nings included classrooms built on the site of old chicken coops in northwest Miami, can celebrate another landmark achievement: the recent ad-mission of its 2 millionth student. told me I would get a great education at MDC,” said Rivera, whose older brother graduated with his pre-law degree and twin sister will be attend-ing as well. “I knew that I wouldn’t be academi-cally shortchanging myself, and I would have so many opportunities within my reach.” The aspiring pediatrician said MDC’s flexible course scheduling allows her to arrange her classes around her work schedule and keep her job as an after-school aide at a local elementary school. She also likes that she has the option to transfer after two years or complete MDC’s four-year degree in biological sciences as a stepping stone to medical school. “I knew MDC was the best place for me to make the transition from high school to college,” she said. “And I know someday I’ll be a success-ful professional, and I’ll look back and say ‘It all began at MDC.’ ” In 1960, when the College first opened its doors, it welcomed 1,428 students. More than 50 years later, MDC is proud to celebrate the admission of its 2 millionth student, aspiring pediatrician Tatyana Rivera, pictured above in blue. First Choice Pre-med student Tatyana Rivera couldn’t be more excited to start her college career at MDC’s Kendall Campus this fall – with or without the distinction of being lucky 2 million. “MDC has always been my first choice for all sorts of reasons,” said Rivera, a Miami native and recipient of the College’s American Dream Scholarship, which covers up to two years’ tu-ition for high school graduates in Miami Dade County who meet academic requirements. “I had many family members and friends who Meaningful Benchmark The admission of its 2 millionth student is an amazing accomplishment considering the Col-lege is located in a community that now reg-isters a population of 2.5 million. At its most recent Commencement in May, MDC graduated more than 13,000 students from 184 countries. It’s estimated in a recent study that the activities of MDC and its alumni add $3.3 billion annually in income to the local community. Its 2 millionth admission is the latest milestone in a string of achievements over the last five de-cades that include being Florida’s first racially in-tegrated junior college when it was founded in the early 1960s and becoming the largest col-lege in the state of Florida just seven years later. Over the years, Miami Dade College has grown to eight campuses and evolved into an excep-tional and diverse learning environment that also celebrates more than 300 academic programs, including four-year degrees in several disciplines; talented and dedicated faculty; frequent visits by distinguished personalities; relevant and impact-ful cultural programming with headline events such as Miami International Film Festival and Miami Book Fair International; an Honors College program hailed by Time magazine as a steplad-der to the Ivy Leagues; and collegewide initia-tives that help students to succeed at MDC and beyond. – AMS Leading the Nation in Associate Degrees Report Shows MDC Produces Most Two-Year Graduates Miami Dade College’s outstanding affordability and accessibility have helped it remain the na-tion’s leading campus-based producer of associ-ate degrees for another year. Not only does the College award more associ-ate degrees annually than any other institution in the country, according to a recent report by the national publication Community College Week , MDC also leads in the number of associate de-grees awarded to minorities, including Hispanics and blacks. “Our mission has always been to change lives through the opportunity of education, and this report shows we continue to do that on a very large scale,” said MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “It’s not about being the largest, though; it’s about how we can best serve those in need. We are very proud of the critical role MDC plays in making higher education accessible to some of the populations who might lack alternatives, in addition to those who choose MDC for its excel-lent programs and endless opportunities.” Miami Dade College also ranks prominently on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of pub-lic colleges with the lowest tuition in the country, boasting tuition rates that are less than half the national average for four-year colleges. – AMS

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