Florida Keys Community College faculty and staff were joined by representatives of the hospitality and tourism sector in the board room on the Key West Campus last week to congratulate the first group of students to earn industry certifications in hospitality and tourism management. Five students successfully completed the introduction course in the fall semester, also taking the exam, to attain the first in a series of credentials earned at FKCC through the American Hotel and Lodging Association Education Institute.
With integral support from local and state industry leaders, the college launched its Hospitality and Tourism Management Initiative in the fall of 2013 to train students to enter or advance within the Keys' largest industry. The courses can be taken individually, or as part of an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree, and are offered at the Key West campus as well as in Islamorada. Upon completion of an A.A., students are eligible to articulate into a bachelor's degree program at a four-year degree-granting institution in Florida. Specifically, through a partnership with Florida International University, FKCC graduates can seamlessly enter FIU's esteemed Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management as a junior and apply up to 500 internship hours earned locally.
Scholarships are available for these courses through the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West.
Florida Keys Community College held a graduation ceremony on Friday for its 51st Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) Academy at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo. Six students successfully completed the 770-hour training program held in the college's Upper Keys Center in Tavernier. Upon passing the state certification exam, each will become Florida law enforcement officers.
Marc Halvorson, director of FKCC's Institute for Public Safety, recognized the best and the brightest of the class with awards.
Lance Monaco was honored for academic excellence. John Lopez was named "Top Gun" for his superior shooting skills, and Class Lieutenant Billy Pearce earned an award for physical fitness.
"This class has overcome much adversity over the past 10 months and become a tight group of recruits who have each other's backs," said Patti Lavell, FKCC Public Safety Institute coordinator in the Upper Keys Center. "They've studied hard and excelled academically while developing excellent teamwork skills. We are very proud of this class and confident that their futures are bright."
The college's BLE program satisfies the training requirements of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Currently, FKCC is accepting applications for three Basic Law Enforcement academies that begin in May at its Middle Keys Center in Marathon and Upper Keys Center in Tavernier.
For information about FKCC's Institute for Public Safety, go to http://www.fkcc.edu/academics/criminal-justice.da.