Hodges University Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Hodges University is celebrating its 20th anniversary of academic excellence and achievement this month.

Founded in 1990 as International College, the institution has grown from just 85 students and a rented storefront in East Naples to 2,750 students with main campuses located in Naples and Fort Myers. Hodges also operates learning sites at South Florida Community College in Avon Park; the University Centers of Edison State College in Charlotte and Lee counties; Pasco-Hernando Community College in New Port Richey and Brooksville; Immokalee at Jubilation; and at the Florida Keys Community College in Key West.

Hodges University is comprised by a School of Allied Health, School of Professional Studies, School of Technology and the Kenneth Oscar Johnson School of Business. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

“Since the establishment of our institution in 1990, Hodges University has garnered recognition for serving the needs of students who balance their academic obligations, full-time jobs and family responsibilities,” said Terry P. McMahan, President of Hodges University. “The dedication with which our staff and faculty have worked to help better students’ lives is important for families and the entire Southwest Florida community.”

Hodges University has made enormous strides over the past 20 years. In 1992, the Naples-based institution opened a branch campus location in Fort Myers and expanded its academic programs to include the English as a Second Language Program. The following year, the institution began its quest for regional accreditation with SACS and was granted candidacy in 1996, membership as a Level II institution (bachelor’s level) in 1998 and in 1999 received approval as a Level III institution to offer master’s degree programs. The university’s accreditation was reaffirmed by the Commission in 2003 for 10 years.

The university has since moved out of its original rental facilities and built new campuses at 2655 Northbrooke Drive in Naples and at 4501 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

In 2007, International College was renamed Hodges University in honor of its main benefactors, Earl and Thelma Hodges, long-time residents of Naples and long-time supporters of Hodges University. In addition to honoring the significant gift made by the Hodges, the name change more accurately reflected the growing student body and diverse degree programs offered as well as the move from college status to university status.

The programs of study offered at Hodges prepare graduates to become contributing members of today’s ever-changing society. In addition to its 24 undergraduate and seven graduate degree programs of study and its comprehensive English as a Second Language Program, Hodges University fulfills educational and personal enrichment needs for area seniors through facilitation of the Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning.

Though serving students of all ages, Hodges University has garnered recognition for developing a curriculum that is uniquely catered to adults who balance their academic obligations while maintaining full-time jobs and family responsibilities. The university offers flexible schedules of day, evening and weekend classes, online and distant learning opportunities, 24/7 online access or one-on-one tutorial support, career counseling, and hands-on support from a highly qualified faculty. All of these factors culminate to produce a learning environment unlike any other institution in the region.

Here are a few other fast facts about Hodges University:

- With over 6,000 graduates, Hodges University’s alumni levels are among the largest in the region. More than 95% of students remain in Southwest Florida after graduation.

- U.S. News & World Report has recognized Hodges University as having one of the most diverse student populations among colleges in the South.

- Hodges University contributes to the economy of Florida by employing more than 200 employees institution-wide, including administration, staff and faculty.

- Beyond the traditional degree programs, Hodges University also facilitates a comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. More than 20 different countries are typically represented within the ESL student population.

- For over a decade, Hodges University has been home to the region's leading lifelong learning initiative. The Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning provides educational and personal enrichment to area adults by offering seminars, workshops, and fieldtrips to interesting destinations.

To accommodate continued strong enrollment growth, Hodges University recently announced an expansion of its educational facilities at its Naples campus. The additional 25,000-square-feet of space has been converted into classrooms for the Schools of Allied Health and Technology. The new Science and Technology Building will also house a lecture that will accommodate up to 300 people for university approved functions.

The university’s 20th anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year with a wide range of commemorative events and promotions. Recently, the institution received proclamations from Collier County, Lee County, City of Fort Myers and City of Naples.

“Throughout our 20-year history Hodges University has been a dynamic, progressive institution fulfilling its role in the communities it serves as well as fulfilling its position and function within the greater academic community,” McMahan said. “Hodges University is positioned to be a long-time player in this region of Florida by educating a workforce that lives and will continue to live and contribute to this community.”

For more information on Hodges University, call 239-513-1122 or visit www.hodges.edu

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