State University System Standouts
SUS schools offer programs in growing fields and seamless transfer admission.
Cybersecurity Engineering Degree
In 2021, Florida Polytechnic University (Lakeland) launched the state’s first bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity engineering, with hopes of becoming one of only three ABET-accredited programs nationwide.
Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing fields in both Florida and the country. Some projections show 32% growth by 2028, and tens of thousands of job openings currently exist in Florida alone.
What sets FL Poly’s program apart from other degree and certificate programs is its emphasis on physical systems, rather than on software and programming.
New South Florida esports Arena
The Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne) has created a new esports program, to be led by Dana Hustedt, formerly of Grand View University and the nation’s first female director of an electronic sports program. Florida Tech’s program will occupy the Ruth Funk Center, previously home to a renowned textiles collection.
The center is will eventually contain an entertainment-focused arena on the top floor and a competition arena on the ground floor. When it first opens, however, both casual and competitive play will take place on the second level. The arena boasts 36 professional gaming stations, spectator areas, and console sections for students to bring their own devices and play on large-screen TVs.
Hustedt anticipates up to 400 students enrolling in her program in 2021.
Helping Transfer Students
Three SUS institutions have teamed up to make lives easier for transfer students. The University of South Florida (Tampa), the University of Central Florida (Orlando), and Florida International University (Miami) are working on a new database, funded by a grant from the Helios Education Foundation. They have three goals for the database:
• Improve retention and graduation rates for the 20,000 Florida students who transfer into one of these three schools each year.
• Provide coaching and advising for transfer students to ensure they are ready to begin focusing on their major area of study. Transfers often take more time to graduate then their non-transferring counterparts, and their rates of graduation are up to 6% lower. This program seeks to reduce those gaps.
• Avoid redundancy in course enrollment by developing courses and sequences that are mirrored between the universities. Students who start a program at one school can then expect to pick up exactly where they left off once they transfer.
Together, these initiatives look to reduce unnecessary costs and time for both students and university staff, making the transfer process seamless.