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Two Florida Community Colleges Sign Agreements with FGCU Legal Studies Program
3/23/2004

FORT MYERS, FL - Two more Florida community colleges added their names to the growing list of schools signing articulation agreements with the Bachelor of Science in legal studies program at Florida Gulf Coast University to help facilitate the transfer and transition of their community college graduates who complete associate degrees in law-related areas.

The new signings bring the total number of community college articulation agreements with FGCU's BS in legal studies program to five.

Broward Community College and Edison Community College joined Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Florida Keys Community College in Key West and Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, which signed agreements with FGCU earlier this year.

The agreements ensure that any graduate from an articulated community college who holds an Associate of Science in paralegal and related areas will be able to continue their college education toward a Bachelor of Science in legal studies at FGCU.

"I am very pleased with the prospects of these worthwhile arrangements between FGCU and these fine two-year institutions," legal studies program coordinator Bob Diotalevi said.

"As the only traditionally-based and distance learning-based legal studies program in the state, FGCU's BS degree can serve students locally as well throughout Florida. Legally related fields provide solid career paths for those with proper training, education and skills. We at FGCU look forward to other two-year colleges joining us to better serve our students."

FGCU is currently seeking articulation agreements with several more of Florida's 28 community colleges.

The FGCU legal studies program consists of 48 hours of upper division coursework including Florida general education and FGCU requirements for graduation. FGCU designed the program to prepare graduates for advancement in careers in law-related professions, particularly as legal assistants and paralegals.

According to the United States Department of Labor, there is a tremendous growth opportunity in law-related professions. Paralegals, legal secretaries and lawyers respectively ranked No.1, 21 and 35 in the top 40, fastest growing occupations to the year 2005 that require a college degree or post-secondary education.

In the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation's "Florida Employment Forecast," the top 100 fastest growing occupations in Southwest Florida projected from 2001-2009, paralegal ranked No.7. It is also projected that between 1998 and 2008, the number of paralegals in America will increase 62 percent, nearly fives times the average rise in all other professions.

For more information, visit the FGCU legal studies program web site at http://cps.fgcu.edu/cj/ls/index.html or contact Diotalevi at (239) 590-7817 or bdiotale@fgcu.edu .


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