Editor’s note: The story here is part of a series of 40 stories commemorating USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 40th anniversary this academic year. For more about USFSM’s history, please visit usfsm.edu/anniversary.
Before USF Sarasota-Manatee admitted freshmen in 2013, most of its lower-level students came from the “2+2” system in which undergraduates pursuing bachelor degrees first attend a state or community college.
The state guarantees such students an opportunity to further their education at a university. Through 2+2, USFSM has welcomed students from Florida SouthWestern State College (formerly Edison State College), Hillsborough Community College and others, but its relationship with State College of Florida (SCF) has proven the closest.
“I would never have been able to get through college without it,” says Diana Michel, USFSM Class of ’88. “My work schedule was so extreme that I wouldn’t have been able to work and commute to classes (outside the area).”
After attending SCF (then called Manatee Junior College), Michel transferred to USFSM to take night courses for a business degree.
Generations of Manatee and Sarasota residents have done the same, pursuing their college dreams through the 2+2 partnership. Even after USFSM started admitting freshmen and sophomores, 2+2 remained a cornerstone of its overall enrollment. Of the 1,762 undergraduates enrolled this past fall, 844 came from 2+2.
“This program is very important, especially if you live and work in Sarasota and Manatee,” Michael said.
The program dates to 1975 when USF started as a small campus at New College of Florida. In 2001, the program was formally defined through an agreement between USFSM and SCF (then Manatee Community College). That agreement streamlined the transfer process and encouraged MCC students to pursue bachelor degrees locally at USFSM.
In 2006, the agreement was amended to enable MCC students to receive provisional early acceptance into USFSM provided they complete 30 hours toward an associate’s degree and remain in good academic standing. Today, the program remains vital to USFSM.
“The 2+2 program in Florida is important because it provides everyone with the opportunity to earn a degree from a state university,” says Andrew Telatovich, director of admissions and financial aid. “Students graduating from high school have another great option for reaching the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in four years.”