MDC News Special Report

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Students sitting inside a classroom


What types of legislative decisions impact my college life?

  • 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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.