Florida Polytech salutes first graduating class

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Florida Polytechnic University just graduated its inaugural class. More than 220 students received their undergraduate or graduate diplomas at Youkey Theater at the RP Funding Center Friday afternoon.

“Florida Poly gave me the skills through my four-year undergraduate degree,” Andre Goode told FOX 13. “Now I am ready to take that and make a difference.”

Florida Poly, known to drivers on Interstate 4 as the spectacular building on the way to Orlando, is based on teaching STEM: Science, technology, engineering and math. It became official in 2014.

The class of 2018 is the first group of students to spend all four years there.

“It’s exciting, but it’s also sad,” said Dr. Randy Avent. “We developed a lot of relationships with the kids.”

Avent appreciates the fact that students had confidence that administrators would be able to get accreditation, which it did not have at first.

“They really took a chance and came out,” he said.

They certainly had an incentive. Students were offered free tuition for four years.

“I feel really good about going into my job and knowing that I don’t have the worry and all the student debt,” offered Micelle Culbert.

If students had paid for it, tuition would have cost more than $20,000.