An enriching, quality education is the goal of teachers administrators, parents and students in Highlands County.
The superintendent of schools reports that over $1,000,000 of the school system budget has been invested in new computer hardware, software and other learning tools in primary and secondary schools. With a ratio of one computer for every six children, an aggressive campaign has successfully ensured that the media center in each school provides supervised Internet access.As the largest single employer in Highlands County, with salaries commanding slightly less than half of the $97 million budget, the school district’s emphasis on technology has already begun to transform how children are educated for the future. Every public elementary and secondary school in Highlands County is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Average class size for kindergarten through third grade is just slightly more than 21 students per teacher, increasing to 22 students per teacher from fourth grade and higher.Throughout the school district, several approaches to instruction are employed, including traditional approach, individualized approach, whole language, cooperative learning, phonics and technology. Curriculum at the elementary level is designed to develop skills in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, physical education and computer literacy. Secondary schools house exceptional media centers, technology laboratories and production studios, and offer foreign language, fine arts and vocational opportunities.Local schools offer a variety of services aimed at a broad spectrum of users, including: Honors Classes, as well as gifted programs for academically talented students. Dropout prevention programs at all academic levels, including an alternative school for middle grades. Sebring High School also has an IB (International Baccalaureate Diploma programme).
Dual Enrollment Classes, so high school students can simultaneously take college level classes at South Florida State College.Tech Prep Programs in partnership with South Florida State College, integrating academic and technical curricula which allows students to meet graduation requirements while developing technical skills in specific areas.Exceptional Student Education (ESE), for those with special talents or disabilities that require specially designed teaching strategies to meet unique individual needs. Pre-Kindergarten Early Intervention Programs contracted through qualified local childcare centers, most of which are accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children.Migrant Early Childhood Programs, which provide pre-school readiness activities for those whose parents are actively working in agriculture.An advanced placement program for high school students provides an additional means for outstanding scholars to be considered by a broader spectrum of top colleges and universities. Paving the way to prepare young people for further education and careers in highly skilled, well paid jobs is goal of the School-to-Work Program. The school board works in conjunction with South Florida State College to make the program a reality. Another program, Tech Prep, prepares students for technology-based careers of the 21st century. This Heartland Partnership with area school boards and South Florida State College, fosters successful completion of a four plus two (four years of secondary education plus two years of post-secondary) program of study, to improve educational levels and reduce dropout rates while increasing the employability of its graduates.
South Florida State College Discover a new world through South Florida State College! South Florida State College (SFSC) takes its responsibility to serve the community seriously and responds quickly to the community’s changing needs.
Since its inception in 1965, SFSC has evolved from a small to mid-sized college that serves over 12,000 residents of its service district--Highlands, Hardee, and DeSoto counties. In 2010, SFSC had approximately 2,900 full-time equivalent (FTE) students. SFSC has matured into an institution of higher learning, offering associate degrees, associate in science degrees, associate in applied science degrees, college and technical certificates, workforce training, adult education, community education, and selected bachelor’s degree programs. SFSC offers a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management (BAS-SM). The BAS-SM will prepare students for supervisory and management roles in private, public, and non-profit settings. The BAS-SM will be a 120 credit hour program and focus on specialized skills in human resources, management, finance, and leadership. In support of local business and industry, the college provides academic, workforce and technical training, as well as industry-specific manpower training needs upon request, such as training critical care nurses for local hospitals. SFSC has partnered with six public and private universities and colleges to bring 10 bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the area.
The fully equipped SFSC University Center provides place-bound or work-bound students with advising and classroom instruction close to home.All SFSC campus libraries in Highlands, Hardee, and DeSoto counties provide computer use and library materials to the community. To use these services, residents must obtain a Heartland Library Cooperative card. The college’s sports facilities include the Panther Gym that seats 1,500, Panther Field for baseball, a softball field, a new intramural field, beach volleyball court, tennis courts, a junior Olympic aquatic complex, and a Nautilus weight room. The SFSC Theatre for the Performing Arts serves as a venue for professional performing artists from around the world. The theatre offers an impressive variety of quality cultural programs, which draws audiences from throughout Florida’s heartland. The Museum of Art and Culture (MOFAC) offers an informative and fascinating array of exhibition and programs. An extension of MOFAC is the Wildflower Wayside Shrine Trail, a self-guided walking tour that features information about endangered native plant species found on the SFSC Highlands Campus. The knowledgeable staff of the SFSC Career Development Center, located on the first floor of the Student Services Complex in Room B-111, can assist students, alumni, and the public with career assessments, resume writing, cooperative education experiences, job shadowing, or job searches. In spring 2007, SFSC commissioned artist and SFSC alumnus Keith Goodson to create a three-panel mural on the cylindrical cooling tower in the center of the Highlands Campus after the hurricanes of 2004 had ravaged the cooling tower’s façade. The mural, called the Tower of Enlightenment, depicts various aspects of SFSC and its mission, and serves as a centerpiece for the SFSC Highlands Campus. Sebring is also the home to Azure College, Sebring Campus, a private college focused on the healthcare industry. Azure College is committed to providing high quality educational experiences for it's students. Excellent instruction is paramount. Azure College faculty is experienced nurse educators, dedicated scholars, and expert clinicians who are certified in their nursing specialties. They are dedicated to fostering an atmosphere where students are encouraged to develop advanced knowledge and skills and to reach their potential as leaders in the nursing field. We know you will enjoy great amount of personal attention from our faculty as you engage a curriculum that integrates clinical theory and practical learning.
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