MDC News Special Report

Legislature logo

THE LAW & ACADEMICS

Students sitting inside a classroom

FUNDING

What types of legislative decisions impact my college life?

graphic
  • Funding for day to day college operations
  • Funding for maintaining and building new classrooms, labs, and libraries
  • Student eligibility for grants, scholarships and other types of aid

CREDITS

How are the number of college credits needed for a degree determined?

  • The law directs the statutorily created Board of Education and the constitutionally created Board of Governors to develop the best standards and practices for higher education in our state.
  • The Board of Education decides on the rules and processes of how K-20 education in our state will function including the number of college credits needed to graduate.
  • The amount of credits needed to receive an A.A. and B.A. are written into law in the Florida Statutes: sixty credits for an Associate of Arts Degree and 120 credits for a Baccalaureate Degree.
  • An Associate in Science degree (A.S.) is awarded to students who complete the planned program of instruction. The Associate in Science degree must include a minimum of fifteen (15) college credits of general education coursework.

CLASS AVAILABILITY

Why is there a limit of core classes offered each semester?

  • Funding received from the legislature determines the number of courses offered.
  • Regardless of the demand for a class, if the college does not have the budget to hire an additional professor, students must wait for the next semester to take it.
graphic

ACCREDITATION

What is accreditation and why is it important?

  • Miami Dade College is reviewed and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
  • Colleges that are accredited guarantee students the opportunity to sit on state and institutional licensing exams in a variety of fields for example nursing.
  • Accreditation is a type of quality assurance process where the services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met.
  • Accrediation is important because it assures that standards are being met.

AA DEGREE PATHWAYS

Why is it best to get an A.A. degree before transferring to another institution?

  • The required general education courses are the same at MDC as at any four-year state institution in Florida.
  • It costs less to take these courses at MDC. It may cost double at four-year institutions.
  • Class sizes are better at MDC where they can vary from 20-30 students versus a four-year institution where there may be over a hundred students in an auditorium.
icon-exclamation

What is the 2+2 system?

Basically, 2 + 2 provides an easy pathway from an A.A. to a Bachelor’s degree. Unique to Florida, the legislature has created an agreement designed to allow students the option of successfully pursuing a bachelor’s degree by first attending a two-year institution. The statewide agreement (commonly called an articulation agreement) includes the guaranteed transfer of 60 credits earned as part of an associate degree and admittance to a four-year state university upon meeting all other requirements.

Get more details about the 2 + 2 system.

COMPLETION RATES & FUNDING

How is the MDC completion rate tied to funding?

  • The legislature provides funding for colleges through a funding formula. A key element in the formula is the total number of student completions.
  • A high rate of student completion results in higher funding for that section. If the completion rate is low, the college is penalized by having funding withheld.