Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County/N. Central FL News

Florida Gateway College Awarded $673,000 in Performance Based Funding

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Florida Gateway College, the former Lake City Community College, continues the tradition of community colleges by offering a curriculum that offers job preparation, an educational foundation that carries forward into four year universities, and a means for rural financially challenged and minority students to break the cycle of only being prepared for non-living wage dead end jobs when they graduate from high school, by providing affordable continuing education that can change lives forever.


The college, after years of languishing uninspired under the leadership of Dr. Chuck Hall, during which time the world class and world famous golf course maintenance program evaporated from sight, hired Dr. Larry Barrett, whose expertise was leadership of community and technical colleges.

The college has thrived.

Its nursing program is one of the leading programs in the state.

The college has instituted sports programs to give students, families and staff a sense of community.

Theater and entertainment comes regularly to the college.

A state funded aviation grant, which may be a game changer once it is all sorted out, is being evaluated by the college.

The college reopened school dorms.

Performance Based Funding

Begun in 2014, Florida Performance Based Funding is so complicated as to be barely comprehensible and is more complicated than landing on the moon.

None the less, under Dr. Barrett's leadership the school is Silver rated out of a scoring system that goes from Purple, to Bronze, to Silver, and finally to Gold.

This year FGC was rated Silver and was awarded $673,000, of which $336,000 was from the state.

Earlier this evening, Dr. Barrett said he thinks it looks good for FGC to move into the Gold next year.

In a statement released to the media, Dr. Barrett said, "For the third consecutive year Florida Gateway College has received Silver Status and received performance funding monies. Once again, our graduation rates increased this year and we continue to exceed the system average."

Dr, Barrett continued, "In addition, we have done exceptionally well in job placement and earnings categories and while we continue to be lower in first year to second year retention rates compared to the system average, we believe in the next few years we will continue to improve in that area."

Dr. Barrett concluded, "I am extremely proud of the faculty and staff that help students succeed and we are one of the only state colleges that have seen a fast growing enrollment while also improving our outcomes."


Mike McKee, FGC's Public Information Officer, has updated the college's website to include email addresses for the college's Board of Trustees. The Board is appointed by the governor.

Mr. McKee has promised to post their dates of appointment. The Board members represent the 5 county area primarily serviced by the college.

The college Board members can be found here.

The nation's community colleges are your colleges. If you have questions or suggestions you should feel free to reach out to them.

Comments  (to add a comment go here) 

On July 22, 2018 a reader from Tampa wrote:

Great story and a positive beginning to the week. Nice!

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