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FGCU Legal Studies Program Records Ninth Articulation Agreement with Florida Community Colleges
10/6/2004

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University President William C. Merwin and the presidents of Tallahassee Community College, Palm Beach Community College and Pensacola Junior College last week signed articulation agreements to help facilitate the transfer of their community college graduates who complete associate degrees in law-related areas to FGCU's Bachelor of Science in legal studies program.

The new signings bring the total number of community college articulation agreements with FGCU's BS in legal studies program to nine. St. Petersburg College has a similar partnership agreement with the FGCU BS in legal studies program.

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.

FGCU is working toward additional articulation agreements with several more of Florida's 28 community colleges.

Current agreements include Broward Community College, Edison Community College, Florida Keys Community College, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Hillsborough Community College, Palm Beach Community College, Pensacola Junior College, St. Petersburg College, Santa Fe Community College and Tallahassee Community College.

"I am happy to be a part of this exciting era in legal education," legal studies program coordinator Bob Diotalevi said. "There are wonderful opportunities for those interested in pursuing legal careers traditionally or online. The articulation agreements indeed serve as beacons of hope toward a bright future for legal studies in the Sunshine State."

In addition to the campus in Fort Myers, FGCU offers legal studies classes at the FGCU Charlotte Center and via the Internet.

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.

"There is a tremendous growth opportunity in this area," Diotalevi said. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, the paralegal field is expected to grow over 33 percent through the year 2010. The Florida Department of Labor and Employment Statistics indicates that the state can expect a 67 percent increase in the profession by 2008.

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


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