Santa Fe College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associates and bachelor’s degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Santa Fe College. SF holds membership in the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities and the American Association of Community Colleges. SF is a member of the Florida College System. To find out more about the college’s accreditation status, visit the SACSCOC website and type in Santa Fe College in the Search By Institution Name or Keyword search box.
League for Innovation in the Community College
Santa Fe College is a charter member of the League for Innovation in the Community College and is one of 19 League Board colleges. More than 750 institutions from 11 different countries are League affiliate members.
The League, founded in 1968, is an educational consortium that functions specifically to stimulate innovation and experimentation. It is the only organization of its kind in the community college field and has achieved national recognition for the quality of its programs and activities.
As a national organization with members in all regions of the country, the League influences community college development throughout North America. To this end, the League is not only committed to programs that contribute to the continuing improvement of member colleges, but also to providing opportunities for other community colleges to participate in its workshops, conferences, projects and activities.
College Philosophy, Mission and Values
Statement of Philosophy
The philosophy of Santa Fe College is student centered. Consistent with this philosophy, we value cultural diversity and serve all persons regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, age or disability. The college believes that preparing students for healthy, productive lives in a democratic society is the chief obligation of the public educational system. Therefore, we seek to enable changes in individuals that allow them to live richer, more rewarding, and more useful lives.
We further believe that educated people should be guided in their behavior by decency and civility; accordingly, we prize honesty, integrity, and social responsibility among both our staff and students. The college aspires to transmit these values as well as foster in students the critical thinking and problem-solving skills, global perspective, and creativity necessary to make educated and ethical decisions in all aspects of their lives.
In keeping with our values and goals, Santa Fe College, a comprehensive public institution of higher education serving North Central Florida and beyond, adds value to the lives of our students and enriches our community through excellence in teaching and learning, innovative educational programs and student services, and community leadership and service.
Santa Fe College is a dynamic, innovative learning community committed to:
- Academic excellence, academic freedom and intellectual pursuit
- Individual, social and global responsibility
- Honesty, integrity and civility
- Cultural diversity and equity
- Collaboration with our community
- Open access
- Lifelong learning
- Assessment, accountability and improvement
- Sustainable use of environmental, social and economic resources
Santa Fe College was established by the state government in 1965 to offer wide access to quality higher education.
Since then, SF has established programs and services that enable the college to carry out its mission of educational opportunity, responsiveness to the community, economic development and innovation in the public interest. The philosophy of the college during those years has been, and continues to be, one of student centeredness.
Enrollment has grown rapidly. Fewer than 1,000 students enrolled when classes were first offered in September 1966. Today, approximately 18,000 students take credit classes and 12,000 more take non-credit classes. Credit classes are offered at the Northwest Campus, Andrews Center in Starke, Blount Center in downtown Gainesville, Davis Center in Archer, Kirkpatrick Center in east Gainesville, Perry Center for Emerging Technologies in Alachua and Watson Center in Keystone Heights.
The college has expanded education programs by increasing the number of classes offered by electronic means such as the Internet and live broadcasts to the SF centers. More than 4,000 students take classes through Open Campus, SF’s online center.
Formerly named Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe College was authorized by the state of Florida in 2009 to offer bachelor’s degrees that meet demand for specific skills needed in the economy. At that time the college changed its name to Santa Fe College.
SF has had only four presidents. Dr. Joseph W. Fordyce was president from 1965 to 1971, when he was succeeded by Alan J. Robertson. Dr. Larry W. Tyree was named president in 1990 and was succeeded in 2002 by Dr. Jackson N. Sasser.
The college’s educational offerings include the Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), Associate in Applied Science (AAS), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS), Bachelor of Science (BS), Vocational Certificate (VC) and Continuing and Community Education programs.
The Associate in Arts program consists generally of liberal arts courses. Many students in this program intend to transfer to four-year colleges or universities. SF sends more students to the University of Florida than does any other institution. Many former SF students go to other four-year schools, public and private, in and out of state. Since 2009, the college has offered bachelor’s degrees in several new areas of study.
Santa Fe offers Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree programs in Clinical Laboratory Science, Industrial Biotechnology, Health Services Administration, Multimedia and Video Production Technology, and Organizational Management. The Bachelor of Science (BS) programs provide degree completion opportunities for students from a variety of educational backgrounds, including those who may hold the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree. Santa Fe College currently offers the Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting, Early Childhood Education and Nursing. Additional degrees will follow in the future, as specific needs are identified.
Career and Technical Education consists generally of AS, AAS and certificate programs that prepare students for successful entry into a career, although some programs are transferable to universities. Surveys show that more than 90 percent of students in these programs either enter a career or proceed to further higher education.
Continuing Education programs assist professionals looking to advance or change their careers with recertification, additional training or special course work.
Community Education offers non-credit leisure courses for personal growth. More than 9,000 area residents participate in Community Education courses each year.
Academic life is highlighted by the Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa, SF-UF Foreign Languages Institute, Research in Undergraduate Education Festival, a Model UN team, a Brain Bowl, a Math Team and several international Study Abroad programs.
Santa Fe College offers a variety of educational options through its seven different sites conveniently located throughout Alachua and Bradford counties.
SF’s Andrews Center in Starke provides the citizens of Bradford and nearby counties an opportunity to gain a college education close to home. Classrooms are housed in the historic Starke courthouse and two additional educational buildings. The center provides a dual enrollment program for Bradford County High School students to earn college credit while still in high school, allowing them to jump-start their college education.
The Andrews Center also houses continuing and community education classes, the Eugene L. Matthews Historical Museum, and a performance venue that provides enhanced educational and cultural opportunities for all citizens of Bradford and nearby counties. The center is an integral part of Starke’s downtown redevelopment and restoration.
SF’s Blount Center is located in the heart of downtown Gainesville, convenient to both the east and west sides of the city. Day and night courses allow students to take a class during lunch break or after work, including prerequisites for SF’s health sciences programs or classes for a University of Florida requirement.
The Blount Center serves as an outreach and educational facility for citizens in central Gainesville; delivers training programs for business, industry, and employees of city and county government; and provides free meeting rooms for civic, business and professional groups and underserved populations.
Adjacent to the Blount Center is SF’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED). The college is dedicated to regional economic development. The CIED custom designs short, long and “eLearning” online courses for professionals, businesses, industries and governments, and offers incubator services that enable new businesses to establish themselves.
SF’s Davis Center provides a gateway to college nearby for the residents of Archer and the southwestern part of Alachua County. The educational building includes general classrooms, a computer lab, offices, and a community/common meeting room.
Students receive help with admission, registration, testing, advisement and financial aid applications. In addition to college classes the Davis Center offers high school dual enrollment, GED/Adult Education, and community education.
SF’s Institute of Public Safety (IPS) is located at the Kirkpatrick Center in northeast Gainesville, directly across the street from the Gainesville Regional Airport. The Kirkpatrick Center houses the Police/Corrections Academy, the Criminal Justice Selection Center, and Emergency Medical Services programs. IPS also provides advanced and specialized law enforcement and corrections courses. IPS’ Criminal Justice Technology AS degree program courses are offered at the Northwest Campus.
Courses at the Institute vary and may lead to employment upon completion, certification and professional advancement, or a two-year Associate degree.
The main SF campus is located in northwest Gainesville adjacent to I-75. The campus is home to Admissions, Administration and Financial Aid offices, as well as academic, student and athletic centers. New additions to the NW Campus include the Perry Construction Institute, a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) registered building; a University of Florida/Santa Fe College Learning Center for online education; and the Fine Arts Hall, a state-of-the-art performance and educational center.
Perry Center for Emerging Technologies
Santa Fe College’s Perry Center for Emerging Technologies in Alachua is focused on giving students hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art laboratory environment to prepare students for careers in the rapidly expanding world of laboratory science. Programs Include Biotechnology Laboratory Technology, Biomedical Equipment Technology, Clinical Laboratory Science and an expanding general education curriculum.
Santa Fe College’s Watson Center in Keystone Heights offers all of the classes needed to earn an associate’s degree.
If attending a four-year university is your goal, the Watson Center has the resources to prepare you to transfer as a junior into several different programs. Having many of the county’s public services on campus means convenience few other schools can offer.
If your interest lies in the sciences, the Watson Center has a state-of-the-art organic chemistry lab. As the campus includes a native Florida sand hill ecosystem, you can study the world-both in the lab and in the natural environment-without leaving the beautiful 43-acre campus. The Watson Center weather station serves as a data provider for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Open Campus (Online Courses)
SF’s online classes in Open Campus offer the flexibility for you to further your education while still managing a job, family, or other obligations. The course start and end dates are the same as for traditionally delivered classes, but you can set your daily work schedule to participate in class when it is convenient. You will log in to the college’s learning management system, Canvas, to read materials, participate in class discussions, take exams, and submit work any time during the day or night.
The number of online courses available at Santa Fe College increases every semester. Currently there are many programs, ranging from certificates to bachelor’s degrees that can be fulfilled completely online. SF students can also pursue the B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Florida. The US@SF Center, in partnership with the University of Florida, provides counseling and support for SF and UF students who are pursuing studies online.
College Assets for the Community
SF offers many cultural activities to enrich the community’s quality of life.
The 606 seat, 39,600-square-foot Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall features concerts, plays, dance performances and workshops offering students experience in the performing arts, and enriches the cultural life of the community.
The Santa Fe Gallery, located on the Northwest Campus, features local and contemporary artists.
SF’s annual Spring Arts Festival attracts 110,000 visitors to Gainesville and is one of the community’s largest economic events. Santa Fe College’s Bradford Fest, featuring the Boots-N-BBQ competition, is a leading community event in Bradford County.
The Northwest Campus Circle of Science presents a variety of sciences to the college and community. The Kika Silva Pla Planetarium features two state-of-the-art planetarium projectors. In the Jean Klein Rock Cycle Garden is a series of large boulders arranged in geological order with interpretative placards along a circular, park-like walkway. A geological atrium in Building X houses rocks, fossils and other exhibits. Nearby is the SF North Woods nature preserve with a self-guided trail.
Santa Fe College’s Teaching Zoo is the only nationally accredited zoo on a college campus and attracts over 55,000 visitors per year.
The college offers to students and researchers its Geological Studies Field Station, a large network of caverns near Newberry in rural Alachua County.
The Santa Fe College Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation organized under Florida law and is a direct support organization of Santa Fe College. Its purpose is to receive private gifts, bequests and donations, and to account for, manage and help appreciate monies and property submitted to the Foundation. Such donations are tax deductible within IRS guidelines. Funds from the Foundation are distributed to benefit and advance the college and for the encouragement and subsidization of students and faculty of SF.
The Foundation Board of Directors is composed of individuals from Alachua and Bradford counties who represent positive leadership and community influence and who have expressed an interest in using their influence to benefit the college through the Foundation.
Gifts to the Foundation may be made in any one of several ways and can usually be arranged to achieve maximum tax benefits for the donor and still provide generous support to education.
Contributions may be made by gifts of cash, real or personal property, securities, by provision of a will, by gifts of insurance policies, or by the establishment of trusts. Gifts may be awarded for specific purposes or given without restrictions regarding their use.
For more information about the Foundation, visit the website at www.sfcollegefoundation.org.