SARASOTA, Fla. — Right now, University of Florida may be quieter than normal, but beginning next year, they could see even more students than normal, thanks to a new program.

What You Need To Know

  • Students can spend 2 years at New College, then head to UF, earn engineering degree in 3 years

  • Program aims at getting graduates into high-paying jobs

  • Program could launch as soon as next academic year

  • More Education stories

“I think overall the experience should be a good one,” said Donald Colladay, professor of physics at the New College of Florida in Sarasota.

According to Colladay, the new collaboration in the works between his institution and the University of Florida will allow students to spend two years at New College before heading to Gainesville for another three to earn an engineering degree.

“A lot of students really want the possibility of doing engineering," he said. "It’s a very job opportunistic field, and people that are interested in other areas of science like traditional math or physics often want the option to do something more practical and job oriented, as well."

It’s a program, he says, that will help students land jobs, which is, of course, the ultimate goal.

Laura Spence, a K-12 STEM specialist at Pinellas County Schools, says programs like this are a great way for students to continue their education in a field that is essential.

“I think it’s great," she said. "I think the time and the length of time that they’re spending on course content and application of that content is essential, because if you look at breadth versus depth of content, we want our students that become college students and graduate to have an in depth knowledge of whatever specific field they’re going into."

Fom computer science to mechanical engineering, students get the best of both worlds. They can experience one-on-one learning at a small school while also working towards a degree from the renowned Werthheim College of Engineering at UF.

Colladay says the program will launch as early as next year.