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CONTACT: Shouping Hu, FSU College of Education

(850) 644-6721;

July 31, 2018


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A new report by Florida State University’s Center for Postsecondary Success highlights the commitment of Florida College System (FCS) institutions to meeting the needs of all students.

In the report, “Meeting the Needs of Students: Site Visit Report of the Fourth Year of Developmental Education Reform in the Florida College System,” researchers found that FCS institutions demonstrate their commitment to meeting the needs of students while maintaining the open access mission of community colleges through efforts at continuous institutional improvement and innovation.

In the aftermath of sweeping reform to developmental education, FCS institutuions remain steadfast in their commitment to higher education for all students, regardless of their academic preparation and career or educational goals. At the institutions researchers visited campus personnel were committed to the open access mission of the FCS. An administrator confirmed, “We’re an open-door institution.” Campus personnel and students alike regarded the FCS as a place where students could start anew despite their previous schooling experiences.

Researchers uncovered a shared commitment among campus personnel at all levels to fostering academic success for all students. An administrator reinforced this commitment by describing the ways personnel aimed to address individual student needs:

…we will always set the student up for success, and each student is an individual,
with individual needs, with individual experiences. We have students, as an
open-access institution, joining us, returning to school, or coming from high
schools all across Florida and around the country . . ., so our goal will always be,
and will remain, to ensure that we open pathways for students to be successful…

This shared commitment to the open access mission resulted in institutional practices nimble enough to respond to students’ needs, while also responsive to the external pressures placed on personnel at the institutions. The innovations and changes adopted by the institutuions range from advising, instruction, academic support, individualized success strategies and problem solving. Through their work, community college staff members seek to instill knowledge of success strategies that will make students more self-reliant learners while tailoring their practices to the needs of specific student populations.

FCS advisors, faculty members, staff members and administrators understand the importance of meeting the needs of students to help students succeed. While addressing the common needs of students at the institution, campus personnel recognize the various special needs of students from different backgrounds, like adult students, military personnel, first-generation students, economically disadvantaged students, and English language learners.

“FCS institutions are the gateway to postsecondary education for a large segment of our students in the state. Students face a wide range of challenges, and it is important to meet the needs of those students so that they can succeed in their educational pursuits,” said Shouping Hu, director of CPS and the Louis W. and Elizabeth N. Bender Endowed Professor of Higher Education.

The full research report is available here.

The Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS) is a research center at Florida State University dedicated to identifying and evaluating institutional, state and federal policies and programs that may serve to improve student success. One way the Center does this is by providing support for, and fostering collaboration among, those who are interested in conducting research on student success in postsecondary education. For more information, please visit CPS website at


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