Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College, or simply Miami Dade or MDC, is a state college located in Miami, Florida. Miami Dade has eight campuses and twenty-one outreach centers located throughout Miami-Dade County. Founded in 1959, Miami Dade is the largest college in the Florida College System with over 165,000 students. Additionally, MDC is also the largest institution of higher education in Florida, and the second-largest in the United States. Miami Dade College's main campus, the Wolfson Campus, is in Downtown Miami.

·        1 History
·        2 Campuses
·        3 Miami Dade College Library History
·        4 Present and future
·        5 Campuses and Education Centers
·        6 Athletics
·        7 Notable alumni and attendees
·        8 References
·        9 External links

Miami Dade College was established in 1959 and opened in 1960 as Dade County Junior College. The original campus was located at the recently built Miami Central High School. The campus consisted of a portion of the school and an adjacent farm. In 1960, a facility was built on an old naval air station near Opa-locka Airport (known as Master Field), which would soon become the College's North Campus. The College enrolled African American students and Cuban exiles who could not afford other schools, becoming Florida's first integrated junior college. As the college grew, a temporary satellite campus opened in what is today Pinecrest at Miami Palmetto High School until the new South Campus (later Kendall Campus) was built in Kendall. Later renamed Miami-Dade Junior College, its two flagship campuses expanded and enrolled more students, eventually outgrowing the University of Florida and Florida State University. After some time, college board of directors' chairman Mitchell Wolfson envisioned a campus at the heart of Downtown Miami, and in 1973, the Wolfson Campus was built. The College changed its name to Miami-Dade Community College around the same time.
The College initially implemented an open admissions policy, meaning anyone who could afford classes was allowed to enroll. Because of this, the focus of the College became strengthening its academics. As a result, the Medical Center was built near Miami's Civic Center adjacent to the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital to train students in Allied Health and nursing (RN) programs. With the Marielexile community arriving in 1980, the College created an outreach center in Hialeah to give incoming refugees educational opportunities. Another outreach center, the InterAmerican center, was built to accommodate bilingual education. The Homestead Campus was built in 1990 in Homestead to relieve the concerns of students having to drive to the Kendall Campus In Miami.
In the mid-1990s, the College made use of new media and technologies under the direction of president Eduardo Padrón. As the Florida legislature reduced the education budget, the College began to rely heavily on the Miami Dade College Foundation, consisting mainly of Alumni, for financial support. The College also had to figure out new ways of recruiting students, and the College began its "Successful Alumni" campaign in the late 1990s, marketing the success of the College's alumni to local prospective students.

Ethnic enrollment, 2008 Percentage
Black 17%
Hispanic (of any race) 71%
non-Hispanic White 7%
Other 5%
Beginning in 2001, the College implemented a strategic plan to revamp the College and its recruiting goals. In 2002, the College disbanded its Honors Program and created The Honors College for talented high school graduates. The Honors College is a representation of Miami Dade College's most academically-gifted students in different fields and was originally based in the three larger campuses (Wolfson, Kendall, and North). In 2007, The Honors College expanded into the InterAmerican Campus with The Honors College Dual Language Honors Program. A vision of president Padrón and leading members of Miami Dade College, the aim of the program is to tailor to the needs of the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States as well as abroad. The Dual Language Honors Program opened its doors to bilingual students who wish to continue their careers with professional fluency in the English and Spanish languages.
In 2003, the College was granted the right to award baccalaureate degrees in education to meet future education needs, and currently offers three bachelor's degrees. As a result, the College changed its name again from Miami-Dade Community College to Miami Dade College to reflect four-year degree possibilities. However, it is overwhelmingly a two-year college focused on awarding associate degrees.

Miami Dade College has seven campuses and two centers, with its main campus being the Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami.
Campus Year opened Students Size Location
Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center 1989 2,500+ NA Liberty City
Hialeah Campus 1980
2005 (Official designation)
NA 8 acres Hialeah
Homestead Campus 1990 NA 18 acres Downtown Homestead
InterAmerican Campus 1986
2001 (Official designation)
6,500 4 acres Little Havana, Miami
Kendall Campus 1967 66,500 185 acres Kendall, Miami
MDC-West 2005 NA 10 acres Doral
Medical Campus 1977 NA 4.3 acres Allapattah, Miami
North Campus 1960 41,000 245 acres Westview
Wolfson Campus
(Main campus)
1970 27,000 15 acres Downtown Miami

Miami Dade College Library History
On September 6, 1960, 1,428 students enrolled in inaugural class of Miami Dade College. Known, at the time, as Dade County Junior College. The land used for the college was located on the site of Dade County School's former agricultural program, located next to Miami Central High. This area was composed of makeshift buildings, portables, and agricultural storehouses, which led to several nicknames for the college such as "Portable U." and "Chicken Coop College." Enrollment at the fledgling college continued to increase with each semester, which required the addition of more buildings to meet the college's growth. One of these additions was the campus library. When it was first established, the library could only accommodate about 225 students, in accordance with regulations at the time (the library was required to be able to hold a third of the student population).

Overview picture of the current Miami Dade College Homestead Campus library
In 1961, the school was given the opportunity to purchase 230 acres of surplus land, part of an old Marine-base that would become the new site for the college. During this time, the library was stationed in repurposed military buildings on the base. Though not perfect, it was an improvement over the library's previous location and, in 1964, while the college was going through the process of achieving full accreditation as a learning institution; the Florida Department of Education praised the college's library as the best junior college library in the state.
Even though the library received recognition during its early days, the collection still required at least 20,000 more volumes in order to meet library standards of the time. In 1965, construction of the new learning resource center (which would house the library) was completed. In 1968, due to continual increase in enrollment, Miami Dade College opened their new South Campus, which would serve as the location for centralized library acquisitions for the original Miami Dade North Campus and the new South Campus, located in Kendall.
On August 4, 1970, Miami Dade College welcomed its Downtown Campus, which originally held classes in nearby storefronts, churches, and apartment buildings. An old pawnshop was remodeled into the Downtown Campus's college library, and housed the collection until the campus's new buildings were constructed. During the 1980s, as the college continued to grow and technology advanced, it was decided that all of Miami Dade College's libraries would move to an online, computerized circulation system. With the creation of each new campus, Miami Dade College's libraries continued to play an important role in meeting the demands of an increasingly large number of students.
Since the college's early days in the 1960s, when the college first opened its doors to students, Miami Dade College continues to grow as a center for education and innovation in South Florida, establishing new campuses and library facilities. Miami Dade College is currently home to state-of-the art library facilities that highlight the use of adaptable resources to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff. The Miami Dade College library system continues to evolve since it went into operation in the 1960s.

Present and future
The College opened MDC-West in the Doral area on March 1, 2006. The Hialeah Center has become a fully accredited campus, with possible future expansions considered critical.
MDC also has a virtual college, where a degree can be attained completely over the internet.
The College also hosts the School for Advanced Studies, or SAS, a limited admission opportunity for Miami-Dade Public School students. High school classes are held at Kendall, Wolfson, and North Campus alongside regular college credit courses, and students choose three college classes per semester to take in place of traditional high school electives. College books and tuition is paid for by the county, and there is no cost to students. Bus service is also provided throughout the county to the schools. The goal is to allow students to earn their Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree while earning their high school diploma. SAS is the 15th best high school in the nation, and is repeatedly one of the highest ranking high schools.

Construction of a new student union wellness center and food court across from the Downtown Miami campus in March 2011
Out of approximately 165,000 students, on average, almost 6,000 go on to earn baccalaureate degrees, A.A./A.S./A.A.S. degrees, vocational, technical and/or college credit certificates. Its student population is as diverse as Miami-Dade County. Associate in Arts transfer students from Miami Dade College go on to transfer primarily to schools within the State University System of Florida, though some do transfer to out-of-state institutions, mainly through articulation agreements made between institutions. Students from its Honors College have been accepted at many prestigious institutions.
The College faces an issue of limited funding, and is looking for ways to support current and future baccalaureate programs. Out of Florida's 28 community colleges, Miami Dade ranks among the lowest in receiving state aid. To offset this, Dr. Padrón and other College officials have pushed for legislation that would allow Miami-Dade County to put forth a referendum for a 0.5% increase in Miami-Dade County sales tax. This measure, Dr. Padrón believes, would allow the College to set aside some money into an investment fund for long-term facility maintenance and scholarships for students. He also argues that tourists pay one-third of Miami-Dade's sales tax, and that the proposed tax increase would only be in effect for five years. However, the legislation has not made it through the Florida Legislature.

Campuses and Education Centers
Miami Dade College operates seven campuses and various outreach centers located throughout Miami-Dade County. The Honors College is currently represented on four campuses, with a new bilingual program (English-Spanish) at the InterAmerican Campus. All campuses have different schools for various disciplines (engineering, business, etc.). Some campuses also operate dual-enrollment programs for high school students. Most campuses also have College Preparatory or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses that help students pass the Computerized Placement Test (CPT) that is required for admittance and proves prospective students are qualified to take college-level mathematics and English courses.
·        The North Campus (11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami FL 33167) has specialized programs that train future firefighters, police officers, and Emergency medical services personnel. It also has a School of Entertainment and Design Technology and has a partnership with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) for engineering programs. The North Campus also operates the Carrie Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center in Liberty City. Recently, the Campus gained the right, by Florida's Board of Governors, to offer a Bachelor in Applied Science degree in Public Safety, housed within the School of Justice.
·        The Kendall Campus (11011 SW 104th St., Miami FL 33176) serves as the College's Enrollment Office and Disbursing Office. Kendall Campus also houses the College's athletic teams. The Sharks compete at the highest level of the National Junior College Athletic Association and its teams have won various district and state level awards. The College President's office is based here, as well as The Honors College and the Miami Dade College Foundation.
·        The Wolfson Campus (300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami FL 33132) was opened in 1970 and is the only comprehensive urban campus in the city. Located within the city's financial, governmental, technological and cultural hubs, Wolfson provides a fully accredited, high-quality education to over 27,000 students each year. Each year, this Campus hosts the Miami Book Fair International, the nation's largest and finest literary festival, which brings hundreds of renowned authors and publishers and over 500,000 spectators to the Campus. The Campus has two art galleries a full-service library, and two state-of-the art computer courtyards. The Wolfson Campus also has strong business and paralegal studies programs (approved by the American Bar Association). As of 2011, a new student union is under construction next to the College/Bayside (Metromover station) on NE 2nd Av and NE 3rd St.
·        The Medical Center (950 NW 20th St., Miami FL 33127), located in Miami's Medical District near downtown Miami, trains students in the Nursing (BSN/RN) and Allied Health fields, completing the Associate in Applied Science degree that will allow them immediate entry into health professions.
·        The Homestead Campus (500 College Ter., Homestead FL 33030) contains the College's Aviation program, one of thirteen schools in the nation accredited ATC-CTI (Air Traffic Control Collegiate Training Inititiative) status by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
·        The InterAmerican Campus (627 SW 27th Ave., Miami FL 33135) contains the School of Education, where baccalaureate in science degrees are awarded to future educators. The College's first Bachelor of Science (BS) degree recipients graduated in 2005.
·        The New World School of the Arts (25 NE 2nd St., Miami FL 33132) is both a high school and a college that focuses on visual arts, theatre, dance, and music. Admission requirements include an audition or review of the applicant's art portfolio. The school is regularly ranked among the best high schools.
·        The Hialeah Campus (1780 W 49th St., Hialeah FL 33012), a former extension of the North Campus, has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and can now award the same degrees as other campuses. Construction of a 1,000 car parking garage and a new building housing classrooms, science labs, and student services was completed in 2014.
·        The West Campus (3800 NW 115th Ave., Doral FL 33178) opened in March 2006 for students residing in or near Doral, for student and faculty convenience. In the past, Doral residents drove to the North Campus, Downtown Miami, or other campuses to attend classes.
·        The Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Educational Center (6300 NW 7th Ave., Miami FL 33150), also known as the MEEC (pronounced intentionally the same way as Meek's last name) is an outreach center founded in 1989. There are college credit courses available to be taken here, however the focus is on non-credit courses and vocational programs, seminars, and workshops to train people for employment.
Aside from New World School of the Arts and the MEEC, there are nineteen other outreach centers MDC administers.

The school's athletic teams compete in the Southern Conference of the Florida State College Activities Association, a body of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 8.
Notable alumni and attendees
Main article: List of Miami Dade College alumni
Miami Dade College has produced thousands of alumni over the years. Among the most notable alumni are U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, the former President of Texas A&M University Elsa Murano, the former President of Panama Mireya Moscoso, actor Steven Bauer, the award-winning novelist James Carlos Blake (who also taught at MDC Wolfson from 1984 to 1997), Major League Baseball outfielder Raúl Ibañez, former Major League Baseball catcher Mike Piazza, Cuban artist Agnes Chavez, and Harvard Law professor and defense attorney Jose Baez. Clarinetist Elizabeth Schubert taught here as adjunct professor of music between 2001-2003.