New College of Florida announced plans to embark on a transformative plan for its future, with the funding to expand the number of students it provides with its unique and world-class education by 50 percent.
With Gov. Rick Scott’s signing of the 2017-18 state budget, this new funding provides $5.4 million to New College for the first phase of a growth plan, unanimously approved by the State University System Board of Governors in November 2016 and endorsed by approval of the Florida Legislature in May.
“This growth plan will elevate New College from a top small, public college, to a place among the very best of all American colleges and universities,” said President Donal O’Shea.
This first phase will allow New College to begin recruiting 15 new faculty in 2017-18, beginning three years of hiring that will add 40 new professors. That will bring the College’s total full-time faculty to 120 by 2020-21. At the same time, New College will begin to gradually expand its enrollment, to an estimated 900 students by 2018-19 and 1,200 by 2022-23.
Both enrollment and faculty would grow by 50 percent over that time, allowing the College to maintain its hallmark 10:1 student-faculty ratio and small classes with close faculty-student mentoring. Staffing would grow by about 20 percent, to accommodate the admissions and student support positions needed for the larger enrollment.
The growth plan will bring New College’s size in line with the nation’s other top small liberal arts and sciences colleges, such as Swarthmore and Haverford. Studies show that when colleges reach enrollments of 1,200 or more, their student retention and graduation rates improve. While New College has the third-highest graduation rate in the State University System, improving those rates is one of the College’s chief goals.
Building on efficiencies and collaboration, New College will work with its partners in the College Consortium to expand infrastructure and explore public-private partnerships (P3) for housing infrastructure needs. Funding for this will be requested in subsequent years. The resulting synergies will create enormous opportunities for students, which in turn will make New College even more attractive to prospective and current students.
“Our growth plan will allow New College to do more of what it already does so well – offering students the chance to partner with brilliant faculty members to learn, conduct high-level research and become prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.”
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New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and The Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 38 states and 23 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.