Edward Waters College working toward becoming a university

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s oldest Historically Black College is in the process of becoming a university.

Edward Waters College is working to expand its undergraduate studies and offer its first master’s program.

Florida allocated an additional $3.5 million to help EWC meet its goals. EWC President Zachary Faison said the money will help better support students who are struggling financially.

On Monday, EWC released a statement about the school’s future plans:

“Last week, Edward Waters College (EWC) President, Dr. A. Zachary Faison Jr., participated in a joint press conference held at Bethune Cookman University alongside Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the other leaders of Florida’s private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) to announce historic funding support slated to be received by the institutions (i.e., Edward Waters College, Bethune Cookman University, and Florida Memorial University) in the FY21 state budget.

“Specifically, EWC is slated to receive an additional $3.5 million in state funded support which is a 72% increase over the prior year in annual state funding to the College. Amongst a number of planned initiatives, the aforementioned additional state funding will enable EWC to now pursue an expansion of its academic curriculum through the advent of new potential undergraduate degree programs (e.g., Computer and Information Science, Forensic Science, and Social Work) as well as the potential for the future onboarding of the College’s first graduate degree program (i.e., a Masters of Business Administration degree program).

“As such, the College plans to immediately begin planning for the development of comprehensive new degree program proposals for future submission to its accrediting body which once submitted and approved would prospectively move the College to University status. While no specific timeline or timetable has been set for the development and final submission of the degree program proposals, EWC intends to move as aggressively as practicable in its efforts to strengthen its competitiveness and broaden its overall academic profile through the addition of high demand and market place relevant new degree programs.”