14 Oldest Colleges in Florida

14 Oldest Colleges in Florida

Florida is home to some of the country’s oldest and most impressive universities. Founded between 1927 and the late 1950s, these 14 oldest colleges in Florida have a long and distinguished history of providing top-notch education and producing some of the nation’s most influential alumni.

From the University of Miami to the University of Florida, each institution has its unique history, traditions, and degree programs.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional college experience or a more modern one, these 14 oldest colleges in Florida offer something for everyone. From the oldest university in the state to some of the most respected private colleges, these institutions have been educating Florida students for generations.

So, read on and explore these universities’ rich heritage and culture and discover why they have been educating students for centuries.

14. Miami Dade College

Year Founded: 1959
Location: 300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132
Type: Public
Website: www.mdc.edu

photo source: Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College, also known as MDC or MD College, is a public college in Miami, Florida. It is the largest institution of higher education in the state, with around 165,000 students enrolled across eight campuses. The college is part of the more extensive Miami Dade County Public School System and offers various undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, and diplomas.

Miami Dade College offers a variety of courses and programs covering subjects such as business, hospitality, engineering, liberal arts, criminal justice, science, and technology. It also provides a range of Continuing Education programs for adults and professional development, as well as a range of student support services.

Did You Know?

It actively participates in various community-based initiatives focusing on education, economic development, and human rights.


13. Indian River State College

Year Founded: 1959
Location: 3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, FL 34981
Type: Public
Website: www.irsc.edu

Indian River State Collegephoto source: Indian River Magazine

Indian River State College (IRSC) is a public college in Fort Pierce, Florida. It is part of the Florida College System and offers over 100 academic programs across four campuses. IRSC is recognized as among the best in the nation for providing an affordable, quality education that leads to well-paying careers.

The college also offers a variety of special programs and services for its students, including academic and career counseling, tutoring, and career planning.

Additionally, IRSC has a robust student life, with numerous clubs and organizations, intramural sports, and student activities. IRSC is committed to the success of its students, providing them with an excellent education that is accessible, affordable, and tailored to their needs.

The college’s academic and career-oriented programs provide students with the tools they need to achieve their goals.

Did You Know?

IRSC also offers a range of financial aid and scholarship opportunities, helping to make college more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it.


12. Broward College

Year Founded: 1959
Location: 4205 Bonaventure Blvd, Weston, FL 33332
Type: Public
Website: www.broward.edu

Broward Collegephoto source: WLRN

Broward College was founded in 1959 and is one of the largest colleges in the state of Florida, with over 68,000 students enrolled in its various programs. The college offers a wide range of associate and bachelor’s degrees in business, nursing, engineering, and education, as well as non-degree programs and continuing education courses.

In addition to its academic programs, the college is active in the local community and has many partnerships with businesses and organizations in the area.

This gives students many opportunities to get involved in community service and gain real-world experience in their chosen fields. In addition, the college has multiple campuses throughout the county, each with its unique set of resources and facilities.

The college also firmly commits to student success and offers many resources to help students succeed, including academic advising, tutoring, and career services.

Did You Know?

The campuses have modern technology, such as computer labs, libraries, and state-of-the-art classrooms.


11. St. Johns River State College

Year Founded: 1958
Location: 283 College Dr, Orange Park, FL 32065
Type: Public
Website: www.sjrstate.edu

St. Johns River State Collegephoto source: St. Augustine Record

St. Johns River State College is a public educational institution established in 1958. It offers a variety of programs and resources aimed at helping students reach their academic and career objectives. With four campuses throughout the region, students have access to diverse resources and facilities.

The college offers a range of associate and bachelor’s degrees in fields like business, nursing, education, and arts and sciences, as well as certificate programs and continuing education courses.

Additionally, the college has an active role in the local community, partnering with businesses and organizations to provide students with opportunities to gain hands-on experience in their chosen fields. The student life at the college is also thriving, with student organizations and events that offer opportunities for students to get involved and have fun.

Did You Know?

The college prioritizes student success and provides students with resources such as academic advising, tutoring, and career services to help them reach their goals.


10. North Florida College

Year Founded: 1958
Location: 325 Turner Davis Dr, Madison, FL 32340
Type: Public
Website: www.nfc.edu

North Florida Collegephoto source: North Florida College

North Florida College, a public institution of higher education located in the state of Florida, was established in 1965. With multiple campuses spread throughout the region, the college is dedicated to providing students with diverse resources and facilities.

The college offers an array of academic programs, including associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, nursing, education, and the arts and sciences. It also offers certificate programs and continuing education courses.

North Florida College strongly emphasizes student success and provides students with many resources, including academic advising, tutoring, and career services.

Did You Know?

The college is committed to sustainability, with initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote environmentally responsible practices.


9. State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

Year Founded: 1957
Location: 7131 Professional Pkwy. Sarasota, FL 34240
Type: Public
Website: www.scf.edu

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasotaphoto source: SCF

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) is a public college in Bradenton, Florida. Founded in 1957, it offers over 130 degree and career certificate programs in business, health sciences, science and technology, engineering, education, and more. This comprehensive college has its main campus at Bradenton and satellite campuses in Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and North Port.

SCF also offers a wide range of online learning options, allowing students to access coursework from anywhere with an internet connection. The college provides students access to various services and support, including tutoring and library resources, career counseling, and academic and personal support.

SCF also offers numerous extracurricular activities, such as student organizations, clubs, and intramural sports.

Did You Know?

SCF has a vibrant arts and culture scene, hosting events and activities throughout the year.


8. Gulf Coast State College

Year Founded: 1957
Location: 5230 US-98, Panama City, FL 32401
Type: Public
Website: www.gulfcoast.edu

Gulf Coast State Collegephoto source: Florida Architects

Gulf Coast State College (GCSC), located in Panama City, Florida, is a publicly funded state college established in 1957. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers over 140 on-campus and online programs across its five academic divisions.

GCSC prioritizes providing affordable, accessible, and quality education to its diverse student body, which includes students from all over the world.

The college places a strong emphasis on ethical conduct, student success, and sustainability, demonstrated by its Academic Integrity policy and membership in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. In addition, GCSC fosters an enriching learning environment that promotes student growth and academic achievement.

Did You Know?

GCSC has a competitive athletics program offering a variety of sports, including baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball.


7. Daytona State College

Year Founded: 1957
Location: 1200 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Type: Public
Website: www.daytonastate.edu

Daytona State Collegephoto source: Daytona State College

Daytona State College (DSC) is a public, comprehensive college located in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is part of the Florida College System and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.

DSC is a comprehensive college offering over 100 certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees, plus various continuing education opportunities.

At DSC, students have the opportunity to learn in a variety of settings. From traditional classrooms and labs to online courses and virtual libraries, DSC provides students with many options for their educational journey. In addition, the college offers various student services and resources, including career and academic counseling, mentoring, and tutoring.

Did You Know?

The college has over 19,000 students from more than 20 countries worldwide, making it one of the largest colleges in Florida.


6. College of Central Florida

Year Founded: 1957
Location: 3001 SW College Rd, Ocala, FL 34474
Type: Public
Website: www.cf.edu

College of Central Floridaphoto source: Ocala Gazette

The College of Central Florida (CF), located in Ocala, Florida, is a public state college with a long-standing history dating back to 1957. As one of the largest colleges in the state, it serves a diverse student body of over 30,000 individuals seeking higher education opportunities each year.

CF offers a comprehensive selection of associate and bachelor’s degree programs and continuing education and workforce development programs. Accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges underscores the college’s commitment to providing high-quality, accessible, and affordable education.

Did You Know?

Facilities at CF are modern and equipped with the latest technology to support student learning. This includes state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, a library, and recreational facilities.


5. Pensacola State College

Year Founded: 1948
Location: 1000 College Blvd, Pensacola, FL 325042
Type: Public
Website: www.pensacolastate.edu

Pensacola State Collegephoto source: StateUniversity.com

Established in 1948, Pensacola State College (PSC) provides students with a high-quality education at an affordable cost. With six campuses, including a main campus in Pensacola, four satellite campuses in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, and one online campus, it offers over 130 degree and certificate programs.

Furthermore, there are specialized degrees in nursing, hospitality management, and engineering. PSC has an active athletics program and a variety of clubs, organizations, and student activities. It also provides various services and resources such as counseling, career services, disability services, and scholarships. On top of that, there are different housing options, including dorms and apartments.

Did You Know?

The college has over 40,000 alumni and is part of the Florida College System.


4. Chipola College

Year Founded: 1947
Location: 3094 Indian Cir, Marianna, FL 32446
Type: Public
Website: www.chipola.edu

Chipola Collegephoto source: Chipola College

Chipola College, located in Marianna, Florida, was founded in 1947 and is part of the Florida College System. It offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs and general education and continuing education courses. The college has an active student body, with over 6,000 students enrolled each year.

Chipola College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and provides students with an affordable and quality education. It has a main campus in Marianna and three satellite campuses across Calhoun and Jackson counties. The college offers associate degree and certificate programs and specialized degrees in business, education, and nursing.

Did You Know?

Chipola College offers various services and resources for students, such as counseling, career services, disability services, and scholarships.


3. Florida Gateway College

Year Founded: 1947
Location: 149 SE College Pl, Lake City, FL 32025
Type: Public
Website: www.fgc.edu

Florida Gateway Collegephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Florida Gateway College is a public institution located in Lake City, Florida, founded in 1947. It offers over seventy degree and certificate programs in addition to general education, career, and continuing education courses.

Every year the college serves a student population of more than 5,000, providing an affordable and quality education accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Florida Gateway College offers a variety of programs, including associate degree and certificate programs and specialized degrees in fields such as business, education, and nursing. Furthermore, students can become involved in student government, Greek life, intramural sports, and service clubs.

Did You Know?

The college has a main campus in Lake City and satellite campuses in Hamilton, Columbia, Union, and Suwannee counties.


2. Palm Beach State College

Year Founded: 1933
Location: 3160 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Type: Public
Website: www.palmbeachstate.edu

Palm Beach State Collegephoto source: WPTV

Palm Beach State College (PBSC) was founded in 1933. It is one of Florida’s largest and most established colleges, offering more than 130 degree and certificate programs. PBSC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate and bachelor’s degrees.

PBSC also offers online courses, allowing students to pursue their degrees from the comfort of their homes. In addition, all students have access to the College’s library, online tutoring, and student support services. PBSC also encourages students to participate in activities, including clubs and sports teams.

Did You Know?

PBSC’s main campus is in Lake Worth, Florida, with additional campuses in Belle Glade, Boca Raton, and Palm Beach Gardens.


1. St. Petersburg College

Year Founded: 1927
Location: 6605 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Type: Public
Website: www.spcollege.edu

St. Petersburg Collegephoto source: St. Pete EDC

St. Petersburg College (SPC) is the oldest college in Florida, founded in 1927. It is a comprehensive public institution providing a wide range of higher education options. In addition to its traditional education offerings, SPC also offers a wide range of online courses and programs, making it one of the most accessible colleges in the state.

The college has a strong commitment to diversity, offering a variety of resources and support for all students.

It is also home to the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, a unique program that offers faculty development and support. In terms of student life, SPC provides numerous activities such as clubs, athletics, and student organizations.

The college also offers a variety of student clubs and organizations, including clubs dedicated to specific interests such as volunteerism, film, theater, and music.

Did You Know?

The college currently serves over 35,000 students each year with a variety of Associate degree and certificate programs.


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