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Weatherford: Online Universities Key to Increasing Florida’s College Graduates

May 12, 2012

Florida’s next House Speaker says increasing the number of college graduates will require online universities.

Online schools won’t replace traditional universities, Rep. Will Weatherford said, but make higher education more accessible and affordable.

Online learning and online classrooms, he said, is the key to growing an educated community, a strong nucleus of young people who have earned post-secondary degrees and a pool of smart people attractive to top businesses or companies looking for new places to locate.

“The question is, is Florida going to lead or are we going to follow,” said Weatherford, a Republican from Wesley Chapel. “The question is, is the United States going to lead, or are we going to follow?”

Weatherford, the incoming Florida Speaker of the House, was the featured speaker of Florida Goal 2025 College Access & Success Summit presented by the Florida College Access Network. More than 125 people were at the morning session at the University of South Florida’s student center, including educators and business and community leaders.