Florida College Access Network (FCAN) hosted more than 360 college access and student success professionals at its seventh annual summit on May 7-8, 2019 at the Rosen Centre Orlando.

The 2019 FCAN Summit hosted leaders and professionals from various sectors — K-12 education, colleges and universities, technical centers, nonprofits, philanthropic foundations, and college students — all sharing a passion to ensure all Florida students have the opportunity to achieve an education beyond high school and embark on a rewarding career.

This year’s theme was “Candid Conversations,” and the summit featured a diverse lineup of sessions and presentations that addressed many of the barriers students face on the path to postsecondary success while also highlighting promising practices that put students first. 

Among the highlights at the 2019 FCAN Summit:

• Welcome Luncheon: Candid Conversations was sponsored by Wells Fargo and featured keynote speaker Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President of Amarillo College.
• “Unlikely” Movie Screening and Discussion was sponsored by The Kresge Foundation and featured a Q&A with director Adam Fenderson, Filmmaker and Co-Founder of Three Frame Media. Daniel T. Barkowtiz, Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid and Veterans’ Affairs at Valencia College, served as moderator.
• Policy Conversation: Building Florida’s Workforce Through Education Opportunity was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and featured conversations with Rep. Amber  Mariano, Florida House of Representatives 36th District and Vice Chair of the Higher Education and Career Readiness Subcommittee, and Rep. Adam Hattersley, Florida House of Representatives, 59th District. Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation, served as moderator. 
• Awards Luncheon was sponsored by Helios Education Foundation and honored the winners of the 2019 Florida FAFSA Challenge, as well as the recipients of FCAN’s inaugural College Ready Florida Innovator and Workforce Education Innovator awards. The awards ceremony was followed by a keynote address from Dr. Anthony Jack, Assistant Professor of Education at Harvard University and author of the book, “The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students.” Dr. Jack signed copies of his book after his keynote address.
• Walk in Their Shoes: An Interactive Poverty Simulation was presented by the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and allowed participants to role play the lives of low-income families. 
• Finding the Finish Line: What Returning Adult Students Want You to Know was presented by Complete Florida and attracted a standing-room-only crowd as a group of adult learners share their stories on returning to college later in life. 

Angel Buchanan, Region Bank President, Wells Fargo

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President, Amarillo College

(From left) Angel Buchanan, Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, Dr. Stacy Baier, and Laurie Meggesin

(From left) Daniel Barkowitz and Adam Fenderson

Rep. Amber Mariano and Tony Carvajal

Rep. Adam Hattersley and Tony Carvajal

Grace Maseda, Vice President, Marketing — Florida, Helios Education Foundation

2019 Florida FAFSA Challenge Winners

2019 College Ready Florida Innovator Award winners

(From left) 2019 Workforce Education Innovator Award Winners Teri Jones, Chris Laney, and Dr. Aysegul Timur

Anthony Jack

Anthony Jack book signing at 2019 FCAN Summit

“Walk in Their Shoes: An Interactive Poverty Simulation”

Finding the Finish Line: What Returning Adult Students Want You to Know

Day 1 of the summit also featured a Refreshment Break sponsored by Gulf Power, and a Networking Reception sponsored by the University of South Florida.

Refreshment Break

Networking Reception

There were 40 sessions featuring innovative approaches to breaking down barriers to student success, including college access, success and completion, affordability, career readiness and workforce development, equity and collective impact.

You can see a collection of photos and social media chatter from the 2019 FCAN Summit by viewing our Wakelet story for the two-day event. You can also listen to every episode of FCAN’s 2019 Summit Speaker Series podcast to hear the keynote speakers and a select group of presenters discuss their passion for higher ed and preview their sessions ahead of the annual convening. 

Thank you again to everyone who made the 2019 FCAN Summit possible. See you all next year!

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