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FSCJ Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Students with Unique Abilities

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) was awarded a $1,484,224 VERTICAL (Vocational and Employment Readiness Training in Comprehensive Adult Learning) grant to support students with unique abilities. As part of the Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP), FSCJ’s VERTICAL program will be an inclusive, vocational, technical and career-readiness training program for adults with intellectual disabilities in Duval and Nassau counties.

The program offers students the opportunity to earn meaningful industry-recognized credentials that lead to relevant employment upon completion. VERTICAL students will be immersed in the FSCJ community, actively participating in on-campus classes, community-based organizations and student clubs and activities. Participants can complete the program in one to three years, depending on the chosen career path.

Currently, FSCJ is the only state/technical college FPCTP in the region, with the demand for these services only growing. At this time, the College serves 55 students who have self-disclosed an intellectual disability as their primary disability. VERTICAL will allow an additional ten students to enroll for the first fall cohort. The following year, and each subsequent year, another ten students will be accepted, with the expectation that up to 30 students will complete the program during the three-year grant project period.

“We are grateful for this grant and what it means for our students and this community,” said College President John Avendano, Ph.D. “FSCJ is proud to serve as an educational partner for anyone and everyone who wishes to elevate themselves through higher education. Thanks to this grant, we will be able to further our ability to do just that and help even more students pursue their goals.”

The following career and technical education tracks will be offered through VERTICAL:

  • Office Specialist College Credit Technical Certificate
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Welding Technology

Participating students will select career preparation and job training options most appropriate for their success. Following completion, they will receive direct job placement and stabilization in competitive, gainful employment positions within the greater Jacksonville community. Positions will closely match the industry-recognized certificate attained or one that aligns with the student’s preference.

About FSCJ

Known as “the community’s college,” Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) exists to provide equitable, high quality, success-driven learning experiences for our diverse community of students. Serving nearly 40,000 students and awarding 5,500-plus degrees and certificates on an annual basis, the College plays a significant role in supplying the region’s employers with a highly skilled, educated workforce.

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