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, career and technical 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 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.
For nearly 50 years, Florida Keys Community College has proudly served the higher education, workforce, and continuing
education needs of Monroe County and beyond. The College offers various associate degrees and certificates that prepare
students to transfer to a university, enter or advance in the workforce, or fulfill personal goals.
The southernmost institution of the “Great 28” in the Florida College System, FKCC has experienced tremendous growth in
campus facilities and educational programming since its establishment in 1965. 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
were held at the former Douglass High School in the fall of 1965. In 1968, the College’s name was changed to Florida Keys
Junior College, and the College moved to the new campus on Stock Island.
Some key developments since FKCC’s inception include the establishment of programs such as Diving Business
Management, Small Business Management, and Emergency Medical Services in the 1980s, the opening of the Upper Keys
Center in Tavernier in 1980 and the Middle Keys Center in Marathon in 1982. These developments accommodated an
expansion in student enrollment and scope of offerings.
With each decade came further enhancements to the main campus. In the 1990s, 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.
In 2003, the college unveiled its new Public Safety Annex, which features two hyperbaric chambers, as well as a renovated
photography lab. In 2009, the FKCC Foundation received $1 million from the estate of scuba diving pioneer James E.
Lockwood, Jr. to improve and grow the program that is now named for its benefactor: the James E. Lockwood, Jr. School of
Diving and Underwater Technology. In Fall 2011, FKCC opened a 100-bed waterfront residence hall, Lagoon Landing, which
garnered a “Venture Award” from the Key West Chamber of Commerce.
FKCC’s leadership history reflects a succession of presidents who shaped the college’s progress. Under the leadership of
the first president Dr. Merrill A. Symonds, FKCC opened its doors and expanded access to higher education and training
opportunities to Monroe County residents. Dr. John Sylvester Smith served as president from 1967-1979. Dr. Seeker, the
third president, served from 1979 until his retirement in 2007 after 28 years of service to the college; he was bestowed the
honor of “President Emeritus” by the District Board of Trustees. Dr. Jill Landesberg-Boyle then took the helm as the college’s
first female president in 2007 and held the position through October of 2009. FKCC welcomed its fifth president Dr.
Lawrence W. Tyree in November of 2009. Initially on an interim contract, Tyree agreed in March 2010 to serve as “permanent”
president through June of 2012, when he was also named “President Emeritus.”
In July 2012, Dr. Jonathan Gueverra became the sixth president and CEO of Florida Keys Community College. In his
inaugural address, he laid out his innovative vision of building bridges between the College’s past achievements and future
efforts to meet the diverse educational needs of all Florida Keys constituents.