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Santa Fe Education: Expanding Access

Santa Fe Education: Expanding Access

The world sees Gainesville as a university town. Those who live and work here know that it is also a college town. Since 1966, Santa Fe College (SF) has been opening doors to higher education for everyone in the community. Rated one of the top colleges in the nation, SF has the academic programs and student support services to help people of all ages and abilities overcome barriers and accomplish their academic goals.

Programs of Study

While the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree is the top choice for students transferring to the University of Florida or other universities, Santa Fe College has additional programs of study that are specifically and strategically designed to prepare students to enter the workforce, right here in North Central Florida.


Career and Technical Certificate (C.T.C) and College Credit Certificate (C.C.C) programs are often paired with paid apprenticeships and many can be completed in six months. Credits earned with C.C.C programs can be applied toward A.S. and bachelor’s degrees. Certificate programs include medical coding and billing, plumbing, help desk support and other careers in health sciences, public safety and trades.


An A.S. degree is designed for students training to enter the workforce with a competitive skill set and typically takes two years or less. While A.A. degrees are designed for transferring to a university, credits earned for most A.S. degrees can be applied towards one of SF’s bachelor degrees. A.S. degree programs at SF include paralegal studies, cardiovascular technology, biomedical lab technology, computer programming and cybersecurity.


An A.A. degree from Santa Fe College will prepare students to transfer to a university to complete their bachelor’s degree. Students will choose an A.A. track that will prepare them with the necessary prerequisites for their program of interest. The University of Florida enrolls more transfer students from Santa Fe College than from another other school, and SF graduates are guaranteed enrollment at our partner institutions: FAMU, UNF, USF, UWF, and the UVI.


Four-year degrees build the foundation for a lifelong career. Degree offerings are specifically designed to meet the workforce needs in North Central Florida – including accounting, health service administration, industrial biotechnology, clinical laboratory science and multimedia and video production. SF offers several bachelor’s degrees in organizational management, including specialized tracks in human resources, public safety management and business analytics.



Need to talk to someone about personal concerns? The transition to college and the struggle of balancing school, work and more can be stressful. SF’s Counseling Center provides free short-term, confidential counseling and crisis intervention for SF students. Feeling stressed? Come visit our therapy dogs! Or stop by for a meditation class.


By choosing Santa Fe College, you are already taking a step towards making college affordable – tuition rates at the college are a fraction of those at a university. In addition, the Financial Aid team at SF is dedicated to ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of aid for which you are eligible, which begins with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. They can also share information about available scholarships, including those made possible by generous donors who support the Santa Fe College Foundation.


Sometimes you’ve got it, sometimes you don’t. SF’s Learning Commons is a resource for free tutoring and academic support coaching. Designed to support the academic achievements of every student, SF’s Learning Commons staff provides support for math, science, business, reading, writing and languages.


Santa Fe College understands that each student’s starting line and academic goals are unique. The Disabilities Resource Center helps to find accommodations that ensure student success. The Career Exploration Center is a great resource for people who aren’t sure what they want to do. It offers students, faculty, staff and the general public a wealth of resources to determine a person’s unique abilities and interests, and guidance on which programs at the college might be a good fit.


If students are in need of food, there are several places where it is available at the seven college locations and around the community. The SF Police Department is open 24/7 and is always available to help students navigate their options.


Shopping on a budget? Have clothes you want to donate? Saints Share Wear is an on-campus thrift shop located on the Northwest Campus, open for a limited number of hours each week. The shop features a variety of clothing, shoes and accessories, and most items are priced around $1 with your valid Santa Fe College ID.


SF has been named a “Best for Vets” and “Military Friendly” school. Veterans and Military Success Services (VMSS) has a thorough understanding of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits and can provide helpful information and referrals. The VMSS office also connects veterans with externally organized support services.

See Also

Developing Global Citizens

How does a community college become internationally famous? (Ok, maybe more like “curiously well-known in a surprising number of faraway places.”) Find out in the Developing Global Citizens podcast. Laugh and cry with host Dr. Vilma Fuentes, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs at Santa Fe College, as she brings together faculty, staff, students and international delegations from all around the world to reflect on the rewarding work (and sometimes surprising results) of developing global citizens.

Guests include internationally acclaimed artists who have performed at SF’s Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall, faculty and students who have traveled abroad to help expand accessibility for people with disabilities, those who work with the animals at the SF Teaching Zoo who are playing their part in global conservation efforts, and more. Listen on Spotify, Apple iTunes, Google Podcasts or from the Santa Fe College website:

Twenty-five years after the end of Apartheid, 16 delegates from South Africa visited Santa Fe College and shared their experiences of living, and educating, in a young democracy. Their visit was part of the Community College Administrator Program (CCAP) funded by the United States Department of State. At the end of their visit they honored Vilma Fuentes, Ph.D., center, by having her participate in a traditional wedding ceremony. Learn about their visit on our podcast Developing Global Citizens.

In 2021, Santa Fe College was one of eight colleges and universities recognized for their work integrating international education throughout all facets of college life and was named a recipient of the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

“For years, our college has placed a priority on educating students to be globally competent and prepared to interact and engage in a global society,” said SF President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. “Members of the Santa Fe family have been unwavering in this commitment to internationalize the curriculum and instill intercultural competence in our students. As a result of their work our students are exposed to a myriad of global learning experiences and are prepared to succeed in a globalized world.”


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