Keiser University’s Transition to Not-For-Profit is Good for Students, Florida

Florida-based Keiser University was founded by Dr. 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, one that would be student-driven with workforce-relevant programs. Art, studying Latin American history, and Evelyn, studying health care administration, took a calculated risk and opened the Keiser School with one student.

Having joined the university and family in 1984, I have seen its evolution firsthand, and I’m proud that today, as a regionally-accredited school, we educate nearly 18,000 students studying in over 70 associate through doctoral degree programs. We provide employment to 3,500 — mostly Floridians — across 15 campuses statewide and throughout our graduate and international divisions.

Our family’s venture was always guided by the vision that we would one day leave a lasting educational legacy to Florida and the nation. That vision was realized in January, after years of planning and preparation, when Keiser University proudly announced its transition to not-for-profit and its acquisition by Everglades College Inc., a 501(c)3 organization. This transition provides Florida with an educational resource that will serve the public for centuries into the future.

While this transition to not-for-profit status brings opportunities to better serve students and our communities, much will remain constant. We will continue our long-standing charitable giving program, which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthy organizations, and nearly $12 million in need-based and academic scholarships annually. With 62 percent of our graduates in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health care, our commitment to these fields will only strengthen. The university has been the state’s leading producer of graduates in health sciences and related clinical professions since 2003 and is currently ranked second in Florida and third in the nation in production of associate in science nursing graduates.

Soon, we will pursue the highest Level VI accreditation, with more doctoral offerings and implementation of a research division. We recently opened the School of Advancing

Technology at our Pembroke Pines campus, offering degrees in emerging technology fields including software engineering, information security and information technology leadership.

The mission of the university to provide career-focused education and prepare graduates for employment as determined by business and industry leaders, and our "students-first" philosophy, remain unchanged. Our staunch advocacy on behalf of students seeking private education continues to be a driving force of our national and statewide efforts, and 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 chair of Workforce Florida Inc.


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