Three state colleges will launch civic “academies” aimed at preparing high school and college students for careers in government, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.
The state is providing $6.5 million to create what is called the Career Pathways for Public Service initiative, with academies at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Polk State College and Broward College.
Money for the program will come from the Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative, which DeSantis set up last summer using $106 million in federal stimulus funds for schools. The academies are scheduled to open in August 2023. Colleges will partner with school districts and students can enroll in programs beginning in their freshman year of high school, DeSantis said.
“They will be given the knowledge base and the tools to potentially pursue a career in public service,” DeSantis said during an appearance at the college in Jacksonville.
The programs will include courses in public service leadership, careers and communication and apprenticeships with local and state agencies, a press release from the governor’s office said. The Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida will develop the academies curriculum.
“It (the program) will develop a highly skilled, civically engaged workforce and prepare our students for jobs in state and local government,” said John Avendano, president of Florida State College in Jacksonville. .