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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Continuining Education

Executive Director's Message


Paul_ThorntonGreetings! Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs was established in 2006 with the goal of unifying FGCU’s off-campus educational efforts for our five-county service delivery area. 

Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs embraces and encourages the concept of “lifelong learning.”  Wikipedia has a great definition of lifelong learning; describing it as the concept of “It’s never too soon or too late for learning.  Lifelong learning is attitudinal; that one can and should be open to new ideas, decisions, skills or behaviors.”

Our lifelong learning programs include the highly successful Renaissance Academy.  Founded in January 2001, the Academy is the University’s and region’s premier lifelong learning program for adults.  It is based on the premise that learning should never cease, that keeping the mind intellectually, creatively and culturally active fundamentally enriches and invigorates our lives. Among the Renaissance Academy’s offerings are affordable, non-credit single lectures, short courses, day trips, computer classes, film series, life enrichment classes, writing workshops, music lessons, travel abroad programs and other special events providing academic substance in an interactive format that encourages the exchange of ideas and provides both intellectual stimulation and personal enjoyment.  I encourage you to visit the Renaissance Academy website for additional information.

Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs also oversees the credit bearing programs at our three off-campus locations including FGCU Charlotte, FGCU Fort Myers Atrium, and the FGCU Naples Center.

In the coming months we will be adding many new and exciting programs to our website so check back frequently.  If you have any suggestions about course needs or desires please e-mail John Guerra, our Director of Renaissance Academy and Continuing Education at Of course, I am always interested in hearing from you. I can be reached at

I look forward to seeing you in a class or hearing from you soon!

Best regards,

Dr. Paul Thornton
Executive Director
Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs
Florida Gulf Coast University