Sarasota Herald-Tribune, January 5, 2015

SARASOTA – A plan by four local colleges to join forces could transform the North Tamiami Trail area into its own college town.

New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art & Design, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and the State College of Florida announced Tuesday they would form something called the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast, or C4.

The consortium will allow the four local colleges’ nearly 20,000 students to take courses at any of the group’s institutions for credits that will count at their home campus, allow schools to coordinate emergency services and help officials secure mutual business partnerships. The four colleges will also join to brand North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota and part of southwest Manatee County as an education destination…

New College President Donal O’Shea was once dean of Mount Holyoke College, part of the 50-year-old Five College Consortium in western Massachusetts. When he came to New College in 2012, he encouraged leadership from the colleges to meet regularly. About three years ago, the four college’s presidents and provosts met for a retreat. They met again the next year, then the presidents, provosts and other officials began to meet monthly.

Eventually, the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast was born.