Florida Keys Community College | 2006-07 Catalog

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The College

A College for the Community : History

A College For The Community

Spanning a length of 125 miles, Monroe County has a diverse population with changing needs.  Florida Keys Community College is proud to meet those needs from Key Largo to Key West.

FKCC is the southernmost college in the continental United States and its main campus is located only minutes from downtown Key West.  The Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean with its living coral reef surround the main campus.

Since its establishment in 1965, FKCC has been offering Keys residents the opportunity for higher education with its Associate in Arts Degree program, also known as the “University Transfer” degree.   Additionally, the college offers nationally recognized degree programs in specialized areas of study such as the marine sciences.  Students prepare for careers with FKCC’s Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degree programs and the shorter Certificate programs.  These degree programs include: Marine Engineering, Management & Seamanship; Nursing; Computer Programming & Analysis; Criminal Justice Technology; Business Administration; Diving Business & Technology; Marine Environmental Technology; Graphic Design Technology, and Multi-Media Technology.

The college is an integral part of the Florida Keys community, providing a well-trained workforce for local businesses and agencies.  Professional emergency training is provided through FKCC’s Emergency Medical Services program, the Institute of Criminal Justice and various marine safety courses.
The balmy weather of the Florida Keys enables the college to offer year-round activities in scuba diving, and other water sports.  The FKCC Dive Lagoon has been called one of the most beautiful in the world, and features an underwater classroom where students get an "up close and personal" look at sea life.  Timbers from the world-famous "Atocha" treasure ship are on underwater display in the Lagoon for study.

There are three FKCC campus sites:  the main campus in Key West, and two centers located in Marathon and Tavernier.  All three provide a pleasant atmosphere where students can enjoy tropical island living while pursuing studies in higher education.  The favorable student-faculty ratio promotes our commitment to developing the educational potential of each student.

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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, and it is now one of Florida's Great 28 community colleges.

Dr. William A. Seeker received his appointment as the third president of the college on July 1, 1979.  He supervised the completion of the College’s Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center and presided over the gala opening of the center's new theater on January 24, 1980.

The 1980s ushered in new programs such as Diving Business Management, Small Business Management, and Emergency Medical Services, thus continuing the development of programs, facilities, and services which began at the inception of the college.  Support programs and services for transfer and vocational students 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. Our new Scuba Dive Complex provides the much-needed space for our world famous Diving program.  In 1997, the college unveiled its bright 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 classrooms and modern laboratories, an ideal setting for learning the careers and technologies of the 21st Century.

FKCC continues to expand its role in the community, and with it, its campus facilities.  New in 2003, were the College’s Marine Public Safety Annex and Hyperbarric Chambers as well as a newly rennovated Photography Lab now located in Building B.

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www.fkcc.edu : ©2006 Florida Keys Community College | This Page Last Updated : September 9, 2006