What began as a school of Forestry in 1947, has now grown to become a comprehensive, public community college serving more than 5,000 students annually. The College’s district encompasses five North Central Florida counties: Baker, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, and Union. This 2,683-square-mile district is an area twice the size of Rhode Island. The college district is situated midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The region around the college is commonly referred to as Florida’s Crown and the Gateway to Florida and would generally be considered rural. The moderate climate, hospitality of the community, and beauty of the adjacent recreational areas draw visitors and newcomers from around the world.
Florida Gateway College’s main campus is located approximately six miles east on Highway 90 from downtown Lake City, Florida, with sites in Baker (Olustee), Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
The College traces its growth from the Forest Ranger School, which utilized structures that remained from a World War II-era naval air station. In 1961, when the state of Florida created Lake City Junior College on the campus of the old forestry school, the College became one of 28 two-year institutions envisioned in the state’s master plan. In those early days, Lake City Junior College had fewer than 400 students.
The inclusion in 1970 of “community” in the College’s title emphasizes the broad spectrum of transfer and occupational programs offered in addition to continuing education and community service courses. Lake City Community College officially became Florida Gateway College on July 1, 2010.
Florida Gateway College offers outstanding programs in the liberal arts and sciences. A significant number of students who begin their college career in these programs earn associate degrees and then successfully transfer to senior institutions where they maintain superior records when compared to their university counterparts.
Florida Gateway College also offers outstanding opportunities in diverse occupational programs, such as business administration, computer programming, water/wastewater, landscape technology, and cosmetology. The college also provides comprehensive training in Nursing & Health Science fields, such as registered nursing, practical nursing, emergency medical services, physical therapy, patient care, and others. Each year the college maintains the search for excellence by offering new programs that meet the needs of its district.
In 2012, Florida Gateway College launched its inaugural four-year program, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A second four-year degree, a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, launched during the Fall 2014 semester and was followed by a Bachelor of Applied Science in Water Resources Management in Spring 2015.
Florida Gateway College is committed to providing the highest quality education and training to the citizens of its unique, rural service area. The College believes that every group, every community, and every nation derives all of its value and all of its power directly from the individuals who constitute those bodies. In a democratic society, every individual needs to be appreciated for their unique, irreplaceable, and intrinsic value. Furthermore, this value needs to be enhanced and amplified with a fitting educational experience to fully consummate societal potential.
The Florida Gateway College district continues to experience growth. The college is committed to providing excellent postsecondary educational opportunities to the citizens of North Central Florida while maintaining an “open-door” admission policy. The District Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff of Florida Gateway College are dedicated to helping FGC students reach their personal and career goals.
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