Florida Polytechnic University is announcing their vision for the future -- a five-year plan that includes a research park, an expanded curriculum and new scholarships.
The university opened its doors in 2012, but did not receive accreditation until last year. Kevin Aspegren, Vice President of Advancement, said the first few years were focused on getting the school up and running.
Now they can start expanding.
"It's really time to step back and figure out how Florida Poly, with industry, grows a stronger Florida, and that's why this additional plan was created," he said.
The strategic plan, “Advancing in Excellence,” prioritizes degree alignment, student success, economic development and affordability.
The school will try to strengthen its science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, adding five new programs in engineering or applied-sciences. They will also add new tracks for graduate programs and, for the first time, offer online courses.
A major part of the plan is a research park near the Lakeland campus. Aspegren said it will bring additional research collaborations, learning experiences and faculty opportunities.
“It will bring to the community and to the school many more industry relationships,” he said. “It will help bring economic development to the Central Florida region.”
There might also be mixed-use residential space and commercial space moving to the park. “You’ll really see a lot of growth there along the I-4 corridor,” said Aspegren.
One of the goals included in the plan is to get Florida Poly’s engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. A visit is going on this week and the school hopes to achieve it by 2020. “We’ll solidify our curriculum and increase Florida Poly’s impact by expanding the number of degrees we offer,” said university president Dr. Randy K. Avent in a press release. The school will also increase its endowment to $1.5 milliona and raise an additional $5 million in new scholarships.