Fund the 2018 Florida College System Request of $286 Million

The Florida College System plays an integral part in Florida’s degree attainment and workforce training needs. With more than half of FCS graduating students transferring to universities, there is a direct correlation between supporting our students and strengthening our state universities to achieve a preeminent destination status.

The budget initiatives listed below, comprising the Florida College System Program Fund & Performance-Based Incentives Request, increase the state’s investment for meeting current and future needs related to degree attainment and job creation; it also restores system program funding from the previous fiscal year.


performance-based funding


Continue strategic improvements in areas of job placement and continuing education, retention and completion rates, and wage earnings.


for industry certifications


Expand the number of nationally recognized high-value certificates that address areas of critical workforce need in emerging or targeted industries.


for Workforce Preparation


Increase degree and certificate programs to fulfill identified employment gaps in high-demand areas.


for Student Success and Completion


Establish program-specific “2+2” targeted pathways and shorten time-to-degree completion by investing in services, including mental health, to promote student success, persistence, and retention.


for Faculty Recruitment and Retention


Recruit and retain high quality faculty and staff, with focus on competitive fields including STEM.

Additional Funding Requests

Additional funding requests include $401 million for Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO), $210 million for deferred maintenance, and the operational cost of new facilities (OCNF). These dollars are imperative to maintaining the operations of campus facilities and hurricane hardening to ensure FCS institutions are meeting the needs of the students and the communities we serve.

  • Performance-Based Incentive Funding - $94 million
    • Performance Funding $80 million

      The Florida College System (FCS) performance-based incentive program awards funding to FCS institutions based on four measures adopted by the State Board of Education: student retention and completion rates, earnings outcomes, and continuing education/job placement.

      For the 2018-19 Fiscal year, the FCS Council of Presidents (COP) requests a total of $80 million for performance-based funding from the Florida Legislature, which includes $40 million in institutional investments and a recurring state investment of $40 million distributed to colleges who qualify through the metrics. These new state funds are necessary in order to continue supporting students through high-impact program enhancements that promote retention and on-time completion.

      COP also supports the four measures of the performance funding model that were codified into law in 2016 and requests that these metrics remain intact through the 2018-19 Fiscal Year.

      Industry Certifications $14 million

      To best meet the career pathways of our students, the Council of Presidents believes increasing Career and Professional Education Industry Certifications to $14 million will accommodate the rising postsecondary industry certifications at FCS institutions.

  • Workforce Preparation - $75 million
    • The Council of Presidents requests $75 million through the FCS Funding Formula to increase certificate and degree programs that address regional business and industry needs. This request emphasizes identified employment gaps in high skill/high-wage occupations found in the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Florida Jobs 2030 report and the 2017 gap analysis commissioned by COP.

      New and expanded workforce programs impacted by this funding will provide the necessary training for occupations in high-demand fields such as aerospace and aviation, finance and professional services, health care and life sciences, and logistics and distribution, manufacturing, computer science and information technology.


  • Student Success and Completion - $67 million
    • The FCS plays a pivotal role and strategic position in ensuring that our state meets the ambitious completion and attainment goal set forth by the Higher Education Coordinating Council (HECC). The COP is fully committed to helping reach HECC’s postsecondary attainment goal of 55% of Floridians between the ages of 25 and 64 holding a degree or postsecondary certificate by the year 2025. Therefore, COP requests an additional state investment of $67 million through the FCS Funding Formula for the following student success-related initiatives targeting the attainment goal:

      Increase Advising and Enhance Student Support Services

      Intensive or intrusive advising is a prudent practice for improving retention and completion rates; however, for advisors to be most effective, student to advisor ratios must be manageable. According to an October 2016 aggregate report, the average FCS advisor load was 730:1 – well above the National Academic Advising Association recommended 400:1 students-to-advisor ratio.

      Tutoring, academic coaching, and related services are imperative for student retention, persistence, and degree attainment, especially for students enrolling in open-access institutions. Colleges are also increasingly tasked to provide a comprehensive campus-wide approach to mental health, behavioral health, and addiction recovery to address the multifaceted needs of postsecondary students who come from a diverse student population. Funds provided for this initiative will be utilized to increase on-campus and virtual student support services in these areas.

      Strengthen Guided Pathways and Program Maps – Maintain Timeliness to Degree & Transfer

      Monitoring students on a strict program pathway will help avoid unnecessary course enrollments, remain on time to finish, and most importantly, progress toward their intended destination. Pathway development will improve outcomes for “2+2” statewide articulation and prepare students in advance for specific program entry or targeted pathways into selective SUS programs and/or timely entry into the workforce.

      Improve ‘Gateway’ Course Success and Further Eliminate Non-College Credit English/Math Barriers

      Prior to the passage and implementation of Senate Bill 1720 in 2013, Developmental Education accounted for 10.2 percent of all FCS FTE. That number has dropped drastically to 4.3 percent in 2016-17 with students transitioning their enrollment to college-level courses. While there are fewer students enrolled in developmental education courses, colleges continue to provide services to those same students. These students are often underprepared for college-level Math and English and therefore must be taught via contextual learning, co-curricular courses, increased online and on-campus tutoring, and other services and technologies to promote student success and completion.

  • Recruitment and Retention - $50 million
    • For the FCS to continue to be among the best in the nation, we must improve efforts to retain our best faculty and to recruit new faculty and staff in an ever-increasingly competitive market. Of particular concern is the ability of FCS institutions to offer a competitive salary for high-demand STEM faculty. To achieve this goal, the COP respectfully requests an additional state investment of $50 million through the FCS Funding Formula for innovative strategies that target the recruitment and retention of the best and brightest faculty and staff.

Capital Outlay Infrastructure Requests

  • Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) - $401 million
    • COP requests the following funds to complete the number one capital outlay priority projects at each of the 28 colleges. These projects have been submitted to the Florida Department of Education, which are ranked through a focus on STEM and high-wage programs. This year’s priorities include both partially funded and recently approved projects.


  • Deferred Maintenance - $210 million
    • Funding for system-wide deferred facilities maintenance is critical for maintaining the infrastructure of our colleges’ campuses. According to the 2016 Facilities Inventory Report, the FCS has indicated $1.05 billion of deferred maintenance needs over the next five years. Annually, this equates to roughly $210 million per year for maintenance, repairs, and general renovation and remodeling.

      Throughout the FCS, there are currently 2,171 buildings totaling 42,306,500 gross square feet, with an average age of 26.8 years. The cost to replace this amount of square footage (at current construction costs) would total approximately $12.7 billion. The degradation of facilities – including age, use and environmentally-related occurrences – creates life-to-safety hazards and a failing infrastructure which impacts the health of students, faculty and staff.


  • Operating Cost of New Facilities (OCNF)
    • In the past two years, the FCS has opened 562,721 new gross square feet. Traditionally, the legislature has appropriated funds for the operating cost of new facilities. Despite the significant increase in gross square footage, the FCS did not receive OCNF funds for 2017-18 and only received an annualized portion the previous fiscal year. The COP requests consideration for operating costs of new facilities.



About The florida college system

The Florida College System (FCS) serves as the primary entry point to higher education for Florida students and has been recognized as the nation’s best. Since the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence was first awarded in 2011, two FCS institutions have won the prize, three were named finalists with distinction, and over half have been among the nation’s top 150. The 28 colleges of the FCS provide the necessary programs for transfer students to the State University System (SUS), meet local workforce needs through degree and certificate programs, and offer low-cost baccalaureate degree programs in areas with demonstrated workforce need.


Founded in 1949 as the Florida Association of Public Junior Colleges by the presidents of Florida’s first four public junior colleges, the organization changed its name to the Association of Florida Colleges in 2010 to reflect the growth in many colleges to include baccalaureate degree programs and institutional name changes. It has become the most inclusive higher education organization serving any college system in the nation. The AFC is the only organization which represents all employees, presidents, and trustees associated with a college system. Today, all 28 of the state’s colleges support the work of the Association through institutional dues as do nearly 7,500 regular and retired members through the sharing of their talents, time and energy. AFC advocates on behalf of and administers the operations of the Council of Presidents since 2001.

Learn more