Education is the key to ensuring a healthy future for the Tampa Bay region. Dozens of well-known universities, community colleges and technical schools offer the tools needed for a well-trained workforce, from information technology and healthcare careers to science and medical technology. Many schools also offer online distance learning, making it even easier for Tampa Bay residents to reach their educational goals.
Tampa Bay has three outstanding medical schools for health care professionals.
- The USF College of Medicine has a national reputation for excellence. More than 2,400 physicians have graduated from the school since it opened in 1974, and over half pursue further training in physician residency programs at affiliated USF hospitals.
- This year, Florida State University College of Medicine will open a new regional branch in Sarasota, the fourth of six regional campuses that FSU expects to develop in the state. A full roll-out of the Sarasota campus will take place over the next few years with the eventual goal of 20 third year and 20 fourth year medical students on-site.
- The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, is opening a regional campus in Manatee County for the training of osteopathic primary care physicians. Graduating physicians will have the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.).
Whether Tampa Bay residents are interested in pursuing a career path as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN), Tampa Bay has a program to meet every person’s need. Here are some of the highlights:
- The USF College of Nursing offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral level nursing degrees, as well as a post master’s certificate program for advanced registered nurse practitioners. The college is nearly doubling its undergraduate enrollment to help meet the national nursing shortage.
- Three private schools offer nursing programs: Florida Southern College in Polk County offers a bachelor’s of science nursing degree, and the University of Tampa offers both bachelor’s and master’s of science nursing degrees. Keiser College in Manatee County offers an associate degree in nursing.
- Numerous Tampa Bay community colleges offer nursing programs, including: Hillsborough Community College, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Polk Community College, Sarasota-Manatee Community College.
- St. Petersburg College in Pinellas County, previously a junior college, now offers a four-year nursing program.
- Technical schools in Sarasota County, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County offer nursing programs for licensed practical nurses.
Health Care Management
- Saint Leo's College in Pasco County offers a four-year health services management degree for health care professionals pursuing an administrative career path
- The USF College of Public Health was the first of its kind in Florida and continues to be one of only 33 accredited programs nationwide.
Business, Engineering, Technology and More
- The University of South Florida, with a main campus in Tampa, has branches in Sarasota, Manatee, St. Petersburg and Lakeland. USF is the second largest university in the Southeast.
- New College in Sarasota offers a unique liberal arts curriculum.
- Eckerd College, St. Leo’s College, University of Tampa and Florida Southern College offer a variety of liberal arts and business courses for undergraduate and master’s level programs.
- The Brandon campus of Hillsborough Community College offers a new medical products development curriculum.
- Sarasota’s Ringling School of Arts and Design has a national reputation for programs in computer animation, graphic & interactive communication, fine arts, illustration, interior design, photography and digital imaging.
- Manatee Community College recently opened an innovative Center for Technology satellite campus in Sarasota’s Lakewood Ranch master-planned community.
- St. Petersburg College, previously a two-year college only, received approval to add four year degrees in education, nursing, dental hygiene and applied science in technology management.
High School Magnet Programs in Health Care and Technology
Tampa Bay makes every effort to preparing high school students for careers in health care, technology and other growth industries. Many counties now offer special magnet programs where in addition to traditional academic courses, students can pursue studies in their field of interest.
Here are some examples:
- Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School in Pinellas County
- Math, Science, Technology & Engineering at Middleton High School in Hillsborough County
- Center for Wellness and Medical Professionals at Boca Ciega High School and Palm Harbor University High School in Pinellas County
- Academy of Health Professionals at Tampa Bay Technical High School in Hillsborough County
- Academy for Information Technology at Brandon High School in Hillsborough County
- Math, Science and Technology Academy at Sarasota High School in Sarasota County
- Health and Human Services Academy at North Port High School in Sarasota County |
- Information Technology and Management Academy at North Port High School in Sarasota County
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