Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College, or simply Miami Dade or MDC, is a state college with eight campuses and twenty-one outreach centers located throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is part of the Florida College System. Miami Dade College is the largest school in the Florida College System and the largest institution of higher education in Florida generally. Miami Dade College's main campus is in Downtown
Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami is an urban residential neighborhood, and the central business district of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and South Florida in the United States...

 Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

, named the Wolfson Campus.

Founded in 1959 as Dade County Junior College, it is the largest nonprofit institution of higher learning in the United States with over 161,000 students. It is currently the largest secondary institution in the United States in terms of number of students enrolled.


Miami Dade College was established in 1959 and opened in 1960 as Dade County Junior College. The original campus was located at the recently built Miami Central High School
Miami Central High School
Miami Central Senior High School, commonly referred to as Central Rockets, is a secondary school located at 1781 NW 95th Street in West Little River, unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA. The school serves most of the northern fringes of the city of Miami as well as parts of North Miami,...

. The campus consisted of a portion of the school and an adjacent farm. In 1960, a facility was built on an old naval air station near Opa-Locka Airport
Opa-locka Airport
Opa-locka Airport , also known as Opa-locka Executive Airport, is a general aviation airport and joint civil-military airfield 10 miles north of Downtown Miami, primarily in metropolitan Miami, Florida, United States, with a portion within the city proper of Opa-locka.The airport's control tower...

 (known as Amelia Earhardt field), which would soon become the College's North Campus. The College enrolled African American students and Cuban
Cuban exile
The term "Cuban exile" refers to the many Cubans who have sought alternative political or economic conditions outside the island, dating back to the Ten Years' War and the struggle for Cuban independence during the 19th century...

 exiles who could not afford other schools, becoming Florida's first integrated junior college. As the college grew, a temporary satellite campus opened in what is today Pinecrest
Pinecrest, Florida
Pinecrest is a suburban village in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States of America. The population was 19,055 as of the census of 2000. Pinecrest is governed by a five-member Village Council and operates under the Council-Manager form of government....

 at Miami Palmetto High School
Miami Palmetto High School
Miami Palmetto Senior High School is a secondary school located at 7460 S.W. 118th Street in Pinecrest, Florida, USA, a Miami suburb; its principal is Allison Harley. The school is on 23 acres in southwest Miami-Dade County, Florida, and is part of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools district....

 until the new South Campus (later Kendall Campus) was built in Kendall
Kendall, Florida
Kendall is a suburban neighborhood of metropolitan Miami, Florida, United States. As of the 2000 census, the area had a total population of 75,226....

. Later renamed Miami-Dade Junior College, its two flagship campuses expanded and enrolled more students, eventually outgrowing the University of Florida
University of Florida
The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

 and Florida State University
Florida State University
The Florida State University is a space-grant and sea-grant public university located in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. It is a comprehensive doctoral research university with medical programs and significant research activity as determined by the Carnegie Foundation...

. After some time, college board of directors' chairman Mitchell Wolfson envisioned a campus at the heart of Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami is an urban residential neighborhood, and the central business district of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and South Florida in the United States...

, and in 1973, the Wolfson Campus
Miami Dade College (Wolfson Campus)
Miami Dade College is one of Miami Dade College’s eight campuses. The campus was opened in 1970, holding classes in storefronts in Downtown...

 was built. The College changed its name to Miami-Dade Community College around the same time.

The College initially implemented an open admissions policy, meaning anyone who could afford classes was allowed to enroll. Because of this, the focus of the College became strengthening its academics. As a result, the Medical Center was built near Miami's Civic Center adjacent to the University of Miami
University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private, non-sectarian university founded in 1925 with its main campus in Coral Gables, Florida, a medical campus in Miami city proper at Civic Center, and an oceanographic research facility on Virginia Key., the university currently enrolls 15,629 students in 12...

 Jackson Memorial Hospital
Jackson Memorial Hospital
Jackson Memorial Hospital is a non-profit, tertiary care teaching hospital and the major teaching hospital of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida...

 to train students in Allied Health and nursing (RN
Registered nurse
A registered nurse is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program at a university or college and has passed a national licensing exam. A registered nurse helps individuals, families, and groups to achieve health and prevent disease...

) programs. With the Mariel
Mariel boatlift
The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans who departed from Cuba's Mariel Harbor for the United States between April 15 and October 31, 1980....

Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

 community arriving in 1980, the College created an outreach center in Hialeah to give incoming refugees educational opportunities. Another outreach center, the InterAmerican center, was built to accommodate bilingual education
Bilingual education
Bilingual education involves teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model.-Bilingual education program models:...

. The Homestead Campus was built in 1990 in Homestead
Homestead, Florida
Homestead is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States nestled between Biscayne National Park to the east and Everglades National Park to the west. Homestead is primarily a Miami suburb and a major agricultural area....

 to relieve the concerns of students having to drive to the Kendall Campus.

In the mid-1990s, the College made use of new media and technologies under the direction of president Eduardo Padrón. As the Florida legislature reduced the education budget, the College began to rely heavily on the Miami Dade College Foundation, consisting mainly of Alumni, for financial support. The College also had to figure out new ways of recruiting students, and the College began its "Successful Alumni" campaign in the late 1990s, marketing the success of the College's alumni to local prospective students.
Ethnic enrollment, 2008 Percentage
African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

White (non-Hispanic)
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

The Other or Constitutive Other is a key concept in continental philosophy; it opposes the Same. The Other refers, or attempts to refer, to that which is Other than the initial concept being considered...

Total 100%

Beginning in 2001, the College implemented a strategic plan to revamp the College and its recruiting goals. In 2002, the College disbanded its Honors Program and created The Honors College for talented high school graduates. The Honors College is a representation of Miami Dade College's most academically-gifted students in different fields and was originally based in the three larger campuses (Wolfson, Kendall, and North). In 2007, The Honors College expanded into the InterAmerican Campus with The Honors College Dual Language Honors Program. A vision of president Padrón and leading members of Miami Dade College, the aim of the program is to tailor to the needs of the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States as well as abroad. The Dual Language Honors Program opened its doors to bilingual students who wish to continue their careers with professional fluency in the English and Spanish languages.

In 2003, the College was granted the right to award baccalaureate degrees in education to meet future education needs, and currently offers three bachelors degrees. As a result, the College changed its name again from Miami-Dade Community College to Miami Dade College to reflect four year degree possibilities.

Notable Alumni & Attendees

Miami Dade College has produced thousands of alumni over the years. Among the most notable alumni are U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1989. She is a member of the Republican Party....

, the former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz
Manny Diaz
Manuel "Manny" Alberto Diaz is a Cuban American politician who served as the mayor of Miami, Florida from 2001–2009....

, the former President of Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

 Elsa Murano
Elsa Murano
Elsa Alina Murano was the 23rd President of Texas A&M University. On June 14, 2009, Murano resigned as president of the university, effective June 15, 2009....

, the former President of Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

 Mireya Moscoso
Mireya Moscoso
Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodríguez de Arias is a Panamanian political figure. She was the President of Panama from 1999 to 2004, representing the Arnulfista Party...

, actor Steven Bauer
Steven Bauer
Steven Bauer is a Cuban-American actor. He is known for his role as Manny Ribera in the 1983 film Scarface, and his role on the bilingual PBS show Que Pasa, USA.-Early life:...

, the award-winning novelist James Carlos Blake
James Carlos Blake
James Carlos Blake is an American writer of novels, novellas, short stories, and essays. His work has received extensive critical favor and several notable awards...

, Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 outfielder Raúl Ibañez
Raúl Ibáñez
Raúl Javier Ibáñez is an American Major League Baseball outfielder.Over his career, Ibáñez, who did not make 500 plate appearances until the age of thirty, has batted .280 with 377 doubles, 252 home runs and 1054 runs batted in over sixteen Major League seasons...

, and former Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 catcher Mike Piazza
Mike Piazza
Michael Joseph "Mike" Piazza ; born September 4, 1968) is an American former Major League Baseball catcher. He played in his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and the Oakland Athletics....


Present and Future

This College opened the West Campus in the Doral
Doral, Florida
Doral is a city located in north-central Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. A suburb of Miami, it lies north-west of Miami International Airport. It takes its name from the famous golf and spa resort located within its municipal boundaries. The Doral Golf Resort & Spa was originally built...

 area on March 1, 2006. The Hialeah Center has become a fully accredited campus, with possible future expansions considered critical.

The College also has a virtual college, where a degree can be attained completely over the internet.

The College also hosts the School for Advanced Studies, or SAS, a limited admission opportunity for Miami-Dade Public School students. High school classes are held at Kendall, Wolfson, and North Campus alongside regular college credit courses, and students choose three college classes per semester to take in place of traditional high school electives. College books and tuition is paid for by the county, and there is no cost to students. Bus service is also provided throughout the county to the schools. The goal is to allow students to earn their Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree while earning their high school diploma. SAS is the 15th best high school in the nation, and is repeatedly one of the highest ranking high schools.

Out of approximately 161,000 students, on average, almost 6,000 go on to earn baccalaureate degrees, AA/AS/AAS degrees, vocational, technical and/or college credit certificates. Its student population is as diverse as Miami-Dade County. Associate in Arts transfer students from Miami Dade College go on to transfer primarily to schools within the State University System of Florida
State University System of Florida
The State University System of Florida is a system of eleven public universities in the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2011, over 320,000 students were enrolled in Florida's state universities...

, though some do transfer to out-of-state institutions, mainly through articulation agreements made between institutions. Students from its Honors College have been accepted at many prestigious institutions.

The College faces limited funding issues, and is looking for funding so that it can continue to fund current and future baccalaureate programs. Out of Florida's 28 community colleges, Miami Dade ranks among the lowest in receiving state aid. To offset this, Dr. Padrón and other College officials have pushed for legislation that would allow Miami-Dade County to put forth a referendum for a 0.5% increase in Miami-Dade County sales tax. This measure, Dr. Padrón believes, would allow the College to set aside some money into an investment fund for long-term facility maintenance and scholarships for students. He also argues that tourists pay one-third of Miami-Dade's sales tax, and that the proposed tax increase would only be in effect for five years. However, the legislation has not made it through the Florida Legislature.


Miami Dade College operates eight campuses and various outreach centers located throughout Miami-Dade County. The Honors College is currently represented on four campuses, with a new bilingual program (English-Spanish) at the InterAmerican Campus. All campuses have different schools for various disciplines (engineering, business, etc.). Some campuses also operate dual-enrollment programs for high school students. Most campuses also have College Preparatory or English as a Second Language (ESL
ESL is a common abbreviation for English as a Second Language, see English language learning and teaching.ESL may also refer to:-Companies:...

) courses that help students pass the Computerized Placement Test (CPT) that is required for admittance and proves prospective students are qualified to take college-level mathematics and English
English studies
English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language , English linguistics English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language (including literatures from the U.K., U.S.,...


The North Campus (11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami FL 33167) has specialized programs that train future firefighters, police officers, and Emergency medical services
Emergency medical services
Emergency medical services are a type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care and/or transport to definitive care, to patients with illnesses and injuries which the patient, or the medical practitioner, believes constitutes a medical emergency...

 personnel. It also has a School of Entertainment and Design Technology and has a partnership with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) for engineering programs. The North Campus also operates the Carrie Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center in Liberty City. Recently, the Campus gained the right, by Florida's Board of Governors, to offer a Bachelor in Applied Science degree in Public Safety, housed within the School of Justice.

The Kendall Campus (11011 SW 104th St., Miami FL 33176) serves as the College's Enrollment Office and Disbursing Office. Kendall Campus also houses the College's athletic teams. The Sharks compete at the highest level of the National Junior College Athletic Association and its teams have won various district and state level awards. The College President's office is based here, as well as The Honors College and the Miami Dade College Foundation.

The Wolfson Campus
Miami Dade College (Wolfson Campus)
Miami Dade College is one of Miami Dade College’s eight campuses. The campus was opened in 1970, holding classes in storefronts in Downtown...

 (300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami FL 33132) was opened in 1970 and is the only comprehensive urban campus in the city. Located within the city’s financial, governmental, technological and cultural hubs, Wolfson provides a fully accredited, high-quality education to over 27,000 students each year. Each year, this Campus hosts the Miami Book Fair International
Miami Book Fair International
The Miami Book Fair International is an annual literary festival event realized in Miami by Miami Dade College.First called Books by the Bay in 1984, the two-day street fair take place since then at the Florida Center for the Literary Arts in Wolfson Campus...

, the nation's largest and finest literary festival, which brings hundreds of renowned authors and publishers and over 500,000 spectators to the Campus. The Campus has two art galleries a full-service library, and two state-of-the art computer courtyards. The Wolfson Campus also has strong business and paralegal studies programs (approved by the American Bar Association
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association , founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation...

). As of 2011, a new student union
Student union
Student union may refer to:* Students' union, or student government in the U.S., a student organization at many colleges and universities dedicated to student governance...

 is under construction next to the College/Bayside (Metromover station) on NE 2nd Av and NE 3rd St.

The Medical Center (950 NW 20th St., Miami FL 33127), located in Miami's Medical District near downtown Miami, trains students in the Nursing (BSN/RN) and Allied Health fields, completing the Associate in Applied Science degree that will allow them immediate entry into health professions.

The Homestead Campus (500 College Ter., Homestead
Homestead, Florida
Homestead is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States nestled between Biscayne National Park to the east and Everglades National Park to the west. Homestead is primarily a Miami suburb and a major agricultural area....

 FL 33030) contains the College's Aviation program, one of thirteen schools in the nation accredited ATC-CTI (Air Traffic Control Collegiate Training Inititiative) status by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The InterAmerican Campus (627 SW 27th Ave., Miami FL 33135) contains the School of Education, where baccalaureate in science degrees are awarded to future educators. The College's first Bachelor of Science (BS) degree recipients graduated in 2005.

The New World School of the Arts
New World School of the Arts
New World School of the Arts is a public magnet high school and college in Downtown Miami, Florida with dual-enrollment programs in visual arts, dance, theatre, musical theatre, instrumental music, and vocal music. Both the college and the high school are accredited by the Southern Association of...

 (25 NE 2nd St., Miami FL 33132) is both a high school and a college that focuses on visual arts, theatre, dance, and music. Admission requirements include an audition or review of the applicant's art portfolio. The school is regularly ranked among the best high schools.

The Hialeah Campus (1776 W 49th St., Hialeah
Hialeah, Florida
Hialeah is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 226,419. As of 2009, the population estimate by the U. S...

 FL 33012), a former extension of the North Campus, has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation...

(SACS), and can now award the same degrees as other campuses. Expansion may be under way for the Campus' small facilities.

The West Campus (3800 NW 115th Ave., Doral FL 33178) opened in March 2006 for students residing in or near Doral, for student and faculty convenience. In the past, Doral residents drove to the North Campus, Downtown Miami, or other campuses to attend classes.

The Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Educational Center (6300 NW 7th Ave., Miami FL 33150), also known as the MEEC is an outreach center founded in 1989. There are college credit courses available to be taken here, however the focus is on non-credit courses and vocational programs, seminars, and workshops to train people for employment.

Aside from New World School of the Arts and the MEEC, there are nineteen other outreach centers MDC administers.

External links

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