January 30, 2023 Tallahassee Community College (TCC) has been approved by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) as the first college in the state of Florida as a charter school authorizer. The official announcement was made by Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. at the State Board of Education Meeting in Nassau County on January 18.
TCC was one of five Florida College system colleges selected by Governor Ron DeSantis to create career and technical education charter schools. TCC was the first Florida College System institution to submit an application to FDOE to become a charter school authorizer and the first to be approved.
“We are proud to be the first college to be authorized,” said Dr. Jim Murdaugh, president of TCC. “TCC’s success is a manifestation of our mission and vision, and the decision to pursue sponsoring authority for charter schools is the next natural step in our commitment to academic excellence and student success. This is part of a continued effort to ensure that students and parents have choices in their educational journey.”
TCC’s vision for sponsoring charter schools is to provide access to high-quality secondary educational choices for students and their families and accelerated pathways to college and career that leads to greater socio-economic mobility.
“Not only is this an opportunity to continue our great work within the local community of creating a pipeline of qualified candidates to meet the demands of the local workforce, it is also an exciting option for students,” said Dr. Calandra Stringer, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We think this is going to make a big difference for students and families in our community.”
Through the sponsorship of a charter school, TCC will offer flexibility to students and parents in selecting their educational pathways, particularly for underserved and underrepresented populations; provide college acceleration programs that lead to certificate or degree attainment so students can continue their academic career or immediately enter the workforce with less debt; support student achievement through academic excellence and support services; and ensure any affiliated charter school supports and embodies the mission of TCC in providing open access to a high-quality education that prepares students for success in a global economy by offering higher education pathways, workforce opportunities, and civic engagement. These goals are in alignment with the College’s strategic plan as well as the principles and purposes of charter schools outlined in section 1002.33, F.S., Charter Schools, and Florida’s Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing.
Jessica Chapman was named Director of Charter Schools at TCC last August. “This announcement is an important step on our charter school journey,” said Chapman. “We are reframing career and technical education pathways by offering an education that better aligns with the real-world needs of the workforce through focused curriculum in selected fields. Instead of limiting student options to college or a career, we intend to blend both. We have the power to bring positive change to our community through education, and that’s really what this is all about.”