September 24, 2022

Business Florida 2022 - The Regions

East Central

Brevard • Lake • Orange • Osceola • Seminole • Sumter • Volusia

| 11/8/2021


Boasting an enrollment exceeding 67,000, Orlando-based University of Central Florida offers more than 230 different degrees, including, for the first time this fall, an MS in Themed Experience. Designed in cooperation with leaders from Disney, Universal and the Orlando Magic, this degree program aims to prepare students for careers as art directors, show producers, designers and other creative roles in the entertainment industry.

Ranked No. 77 among “Top Public Schools” by U.S. News & World Report in 2021, UCF receives high marks for its affordability and wide range of innovative programs and was named the No. 16 most innovative university in the nation — ahead of Harvard and Princeton — by U.S. News & World Report.

Elsewhere in this region, three private universities continue to earn accolades from U.S. News & World Report. Named to its 2021 list of “Best Regional Universities South” are Rollins College in Winter Park (No. 1), which recently opened its new Lakeside Neighborhood student residential community on the shores of Lake Virginia featuring a 250,000-sq.-ft. dormitory; Stetson University in DeLand (No. 4) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach (No. 9). Embry-Riddle was also singled out for its online courses: No. 1 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs; No. 1 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans; and No. 7 Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs.

And on the high school level:

Three East Central schools were named among the nation’s top 300 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best U.S. High Schools 2021”: West Shore Junior/Senior High School in Melbourne; Edgewood Junior/Senior High School in Merritt Island; and Osceola County School of the Arts in Kissimmee.

The School District of Osceola County has begun offering a high school class to students interested in a cybersecurity career. Titled cyber-security essentials, the course was designed by Cyber Florida and USF’s Florida Center for Instructional Technology and is available to school districts throughout the state along with teacher training and free access to Florida CyberHub, a cloud-based resource providing cybersecurity software tools and training.

Workforce Training: Ramping Up
To help meet the demand for skilled talent, Valencia College is ramping up its short-term training and degree programs. In 2020, 425 students participated in Valencia’s Accelerated Skills Training Programs, which provide hands-on training in medical assisting, welding, carpentry, core construction skills, warehouse operations and more. Over the course of the training, students earned nearly 1,500 certifications, resulting in a completion rate of 95% and a job placement rate of 81%. To accommodate these programs, Valencia opened facilities on its campuses in Kissimmee and downtown Orlando and is planning to add a site at its east Orlando campus.


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