A College for the Community
Since its establishment in 1965, Florida Keys Community College has been proud to serve the diverse and changing
educational and workforce needs in Monroe County. FKCC is the southernmost college in the continental United States,
with three locations throughout the Keys. The main campus, located in Key West, is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and
the Atlantic Ocean. The college also maintains a Middle Keys Center located in Marathon and an Upper Keys Center located
in Tavernier, as well as a Virtual Campus to facilitate access to learning throughout the Keys and beyond.
FKCC offers a variety of academic, vocational training, and enrichment opportunities. The most popular of which is the
Associate in Arts degree, also known as the “university transfer” degree, which enables students to satisfy general studies
coursework before transferring to a university to complete a bachelor’s degree. An assortment of associate in science and
certificate programs is available to prepare students for careers in a range of technical fields and professions. Additionally,
the college’s The Office of Continuing Education andWorkforce constantly offers non-credit courses, which include
workforce training courses, lifelong learning, and recreational and leisure courses, in addition to providing an array of
licensing and certification tests.
In 1963, the Florida Legislature authorized the establishment of the Junior College District of Monroe County to be
supported primarily by state funds. The first classes of the new college were held at the former Douglass High School in the
fall of 1965 under the leadership of Dr. Merrill A. Symonds, the first president.
The college name was changed in 1968 to Florida Keys Junior College. That fall, the college moved to the new campus on
Stock Island under the direction of Dr. John Sylvester Smith, who served as president from 1967-1979.
Florida Keys Community College became the official name of the college by action of the Board of Trustees in 1970, making
it one of Florida’s “Great 28” community colleges, now known as state colleges.
Dr. William A. Seeker was appointed as the third president of the college on July 1, 1979. He supervised the completion of
the FKCC’s Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center and presided over the gala opening of the center’s new theater on January
The 1980s ushered in new programs such as Diving Business Management, Small Business Management, and Emergency
Medical Services, thus continuing the development and expansion of the programs, facilities, and services which began at
the inception of the college. Support services for transfer and vocational students also emerged more strongly. The Upper
Keys Center in Tavernier and the Middle Keys Center in Marathon both saw expansion in enrollment and scope of offerings.
The 1990s saw many structural changes on campus. The Charlie Toppino Welding Technology Lab was completed, as well
as the Ron Saunders Student Center and the Public Safety Building. A new Scuba Dive Complex was developed to provide
the much-needed space for the Diving program. In 1997, the college unveiled the new $40 million campus named after the
president who helped to garner legislative support and funding, Dr. William A. Seeker. The new facilities feature spacious