Last month, the University of South Florida and seven partner colleges celebrated the official launch of FUSE, a program that guarantees admission to USF for associate’s degree earners who meet certain criteria.

The FUSE program’s inaugural cohort is comprised of 40 students now enrolled at Hillsborough Community College and St. Petersburg Community College. The program will expand its reach to students enrolled at the College of Central Florida, Pasco-Hernando State College, Polk State College, South Florida State College and State College of Florida by fall 2017.

Students participating in the FUSE program can choose from one of eleven in-demand majors and benefit from structured degree pathways, personalized advising, priority registration, and access to many USF activities.

With an ever-increasing demand by employers for educated talent, FUSE is expected to boost the production of college degrees across the Tampa Bay region and surrounding areas.

“By 2020, 65 percent of Florida jobs will require a postsecondary degree or certificate, so we need to make sure students are getting the education and earning the degrees to fill those jobs,” said Laurie Meggesin, executive director, Florida College Access Network in a press release. “The FUSE program is another excellent step by USF in developing an employable workforce so critical to our state’s economy.”

The FUSE program is supported by LEAP, a coalition led by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, and in partnership with 11 public and private organizations, with the goal of increasing the proportion of working-age adults with college degrees or high-quality credentials from 41.40% to 60% by the year 2025.

To learn more about FUSE program’s launch, read this article from the Tampa Bay Times or view this press release from Hillsborough Community College. For more information about the FUSE program, including how to apply, visit


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