Duval County

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces creation of civics academy at Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at FSCJ Downtown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s downtown campus on Monday to announce that the school would be one of three civics career academies in the state, preparing students for careers in public service.

DeSantis said the state is awarding $6.5 million to open the civics academies, formally called Career Pathways for Public Service Initiative. In addition to FSCJ, Polk State College and Broward College would also be home to these civics academies.


“FSCJ is honored to be selected for this grant, in partnership with Polk State College and Broward College, and is dedicated to collaborating on the development of a critical curriculum focused on producing a civically engaged, highly skilled workforce,” said John Avendano, President of FSCJ. “Through collaboration with the Florida Department of Education, Florida College System, the Lou Frey Institute, our school districts, and our local municipalities and businesses, our institutions will lead the way for quality workforce civic education in the State of Florida and beyond.”

Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz said that this year will be a “ramp up” to the program fully starting in the 2023-24 school year.

DeSantis said the civics academies will be a way to link civics-based high school training to the state’s workforce training program. The governor said that the program would help train someone whose goal is to become a county manager, for example.

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Diaz said it is necessary for Florida to have individuals who have the proper training to be able to step into roles at the state and local government levels.

DeSantis said that 1,000 students would be enrolled in the civics academies next school year. The three colleges will partner with their local school districts to enroll students starting as early as ninth grade.

Courses will include public service leadership, careers and communication, experiential learning, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities with local and state agencies, and a research seminar.

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Some positions graduates would be prepared for include:

  • Grant Manager
  • Program Analyst and Support Staff
  • Permitting Specialist
  • Policy Analyst/Government Affairs
  • Human Resource Support Specialist
  • Project Manager/Caseworker
  • Procurement Specialist
  • City/County Manager

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