We investigate the factors that shape innovation outcomes at every level, from individual and organizational to regional, national and global. Our projects create impact for the future of higher education and other industries.
By the year 2021, 64 percent of Florida jobs will require some form of postsecondary education. At the current rate, Florida is not producing enough college graduates to fill the future needs of business. The UWF Innovation Institute felt the answer was in the 2.2 million Floridians who started college but never finished. The challenge -- how to create a realistic and sustainable pathway for these adults to return to college and complete their degree.
The Innovation Institute took a deep dive into this challenge, developing a ground-breaking methodology to support degree completion for these adults learners. In collaboration with partner colleges and universities across the state, in 2014, we launched Complete Florida, as a legislatively funded online, concierge-style service designed to turn college stop-outs into degree completers. At the center of Complete Florida is the personalized coaching service, helping these adult learners navigate the path to degree completion and improving the lives of not only the student but also their families.
With its concierge-style coaching service and over 150 degree programs from a statewide network of partner institutions, Complete Florida is the only program of its kind and has the highest success rate in the country. In just four short years, Complete Florida has enrolled over 3,000 students and graduated more than 1,000 adult learners. The program has more than 11,000 participants, in various phases, and has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships to help these adults complete their degree.
A research agenda focused on innovation and operation permeates our work in Complete Florida. We examine needs of stakeholders (students, business and industry, educators, etc.) and how to meet those needs through innovative strategies and design thinking, leading to a streamlining of academic business practices. We prototype, test, refine and finally implement solutions that improve systems and support degree attainment and student success. For more information, see our library of research.