By Belinda Keiser
Florida-based Keiser University was founded by Arthur Keiser and his mother, Evelyn Keiser, in 1977.
Both Art and Evelyn were in separate graduate school programs and envisioned starting their own school; it would be student driven with workforce relevant programs.
Keiser University has been regionally accredited for over 20 years, and today we educate nearly 18,000 students studying in over 60 associate through doctoral degree programs.
We provide employment to 3,500 – mostly Floridians – across 15 campuses statewide and throughout our graduate and international divisions.
And as we enter our 35th year providing career-focused education, we are hosting celebrations at all of our Florida campuses, including Jacksonville. An additional $1 million in new scholarships will be awarded.
Our employees believe that developing Florida's workforce talent is a mission worth achieving year after year, each student at a time. And it is because of the business owners who serve on our advisory boards guiding our curriculum to ensure our graduates have a competitive edge.
Our family's venture was always guided by the vision that we would one day leave a lasting educational legacy to the state of Florida and nation for centuries into the future.
That vision was realized this past January, after years of planning and preparation, when Keiser University proudly announced its transition to not-for-profit status and its acquisition by Everglades College, Inc., a 501(c)3.
While this exciting transition brings opportunities to better serve students and our communities, much will remain constant.
We will continue our charitable giving program, which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthy organizations and nearly $14 million in need-based and academic scholarships annually.
With 62 percent of our graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) and health care, our commitment to these fields will only strengthen.
We will establish a foundation to help develop leadership training opportunities and international and entrepreneurial programs.
Our faculty will pursue grants and research projects and the university will generate even more partnerships with colleges and businesses.
The mission of the university to provide career-focused education and prepare graduates for employment and our "students first" philosophy remain unchanged. We strongly believe an inclusive approach to higher education is best for students and Florida's economic prosperity.
Belinda Keiser is vice chancellor of Community Relations and Student Advancement at Keiser University and the past chairwoman of Workforce Florida, Inc.