83degreesmedia.com, April 12, 2016
Opportunities for higher education are in no short supply in Sarasota and Bradenton, where four colleges reside within a six-mile radius — yet most people don’t think of the neighboring cities on Florida’s Gulf coast as college towns.
Why not, given three distinct state schools and one of the highest-ranking private arts colleges in the southeastern U.S.? And, without the college town reputation, how do these schools attract new students? Can smaller cities like Sarasota and Bradenton retain the talent their schools prepare for life after graduation? Or will local grads depart with degrees in hand to take their skills and pursue their dreams elsewhere?
These questions have long troubled leaders at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM), State College of Florida (SCF), Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) and New College of Florida (NCF) individually.