A group of Bay area colleges are working together to create more opportunities for students to get their degrees.

Through a partnership called the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast, students could be enrolled in one school, but taking classes at another.

“We thought 'What an opportunity to capitalize on the assets we all bring to the region,' " said Dr. Sandra Stone, who is the Regional Chancellor at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus.

The consortium includes the University of South Florida, New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida, Eckerd and the Florida State University program at Ringling.

“We all have things that we can offer that gives students an opportunity to fill in gaps perhaps so they can do some things they might not be able to do with just the degree they get from their institution," Stone said.

The program has been in the works for years, but is now taking off.

USF Sarasota-Manatee student Antoine Santarelli is supportive of the idea.

“That’s pretty good because if they didn’t have a class here, I’d pretty much have to go to Tampa,” said Santarelli. “It’s a pretty far drive since I live in Sarasota.”

Organizers hope the partnership will lead to better opportunities for students while also improving the area by attracting new businesses and industries.

Organizers hope to put the new program into effect in the fall. They are still in the process of working out the details.