Education for Your Lifestyle

You’re ready to take the first step in moving toward your future with a new career. There is only one place to turn. For 35 years, Florida Technical College (FTC) has worked with students not only to teach them about their prospective fields but also to help them discover their value in their future careers. The school began with three campuses but has expanded to include seven campuses in communities across the state.
David Ruggieri, President and CEO for Florida Technical College, says the school has three goals: admit students who will put the necessary time and energy into their studies, help students develop valuable skills and a sense of self esteem that will transfer into the professional world, and, most importantly, get students to the graduation stage. These goals show that the staff is committed to the success of its students. “I want them to experience the need to fully comprehend and digest that as an adult, which are most of our students, going back to school, especially college, is a serious undertaking,” he says.
Students can earn bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and diplomas in programs that cover a broad spectrum of fields. And when they get to the graduation stage, the school will help them find a job.
“What drives my decision about what we teach is job availability,” Ruggieri says. Rather than offer programs where students have a better chance of accumulating debt than getting a job locally, Ruggieri studies the market compared to graduation rates to ensure there is something out there for students when they enter the job market.
Students hit the books – or in the case of FTC, E-Books – with an issued iPad to learn their trade. FTC is a full academic partner with Apple Education and, as such, offers its students additional academic resources through Apple University. Students are also taught what Ruggieri calls the “soft skills.” This includes the value of a firm hand shake and the importance of a good attendance record. “Employers would much rather hire a C student with 100 percent attendance than an A student with 70 percent attendance.”
While leading Florida Technical College, Ruggieri has also co-written a book with author Jack Canfield. The book, titled “The Soul of Success Volume 1,” was his opportunity to share with the world what he always shares with students: success is out there and you can have it.
He is also proud that each campus is active within its community, from helping the homeless and working with veterans to ensuring that kids in need have a memorable Christmas. “There’s nothing that I’m not open for,” he says. “If there’s legitimacy and at the end someone wins, particularly children, then I’m there.”


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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