Palm Beach State College
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Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College Sheild Logo.jpg
Former names
Palm Beach Community College
MottoYour Pathway To Success
TypePublic College
PresidentAva Parker
Administrative staff
Students48,966 (2011-12)
Athletics4 major sports teams

Palm Beach State College is a public state college in Palm Beach County, Florida. It is a member of the Florida College System.[1]

Palm Beach State College enrolls nearly 49,000 students in over 100 programs of study including bachelor of applied science, associate in arts and associate in science degree programs, and short-term certificates, as well as continuing education and avocational courses. In 2009, the college started its first baccalaureate program, a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision & Management.


Palm Beach State College was founded in 1933 as Palm Beach Junior College and was the first public junior college in the state of Florida. The Old Palm Beach Junior College Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The college's first classes were held at Palm Beach High School in West Palm Beach. County school superintendent Joe Youngblood and Howell Watkins, principal of Palm Beach High School, who became the college's first dean, were instrumental in opening the college. The college's initial goal was to provide additional training to local high school graduates who were unable to find jobs during the Great Depression.

In 1948, Palm Beach Junior College moved to Morrison Field, a deactivated Army Air Force base, which is now Palm Beach International Airport. In 1951, the college relocated to the Lake Park Town Hall. Due to the limited availability of space at the town hall, the college had to lay off faculty and staff and cut enrollment to 200 students. During this period, Palm Beach Junior College was known as "the little orphan college." In 1955, the Palm Beach County Commission gave the college 114 acres (46 ha) in Lake Worth, and the state legislature passed a bill providing over $1,000,000 for construction at this site. The college moved to this location, which remains its main campus, in the fall of 1956.

In 1965, Palm Beach Junior College merged with Roosevelt Junior College, which was established in 1958 under President Britton Sayles to serve African American students. In 1968, control over the college passed from the Palm Beach County school district to a board of trustees. In 1978, the college opened its Belle Glade campus. The Palm Beach Gardens campus opened in 1982. In 1983, the college opened a campus adjacent to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. In 1988, the college's board of trustees changed the college's name to Palm Beach Community College.

The District Board of Trustees approved a resolution in June 2009 stating that the college's name should change in light of offering baccalaureate degrees. On September 8, 2009, the Board approved changing the name to Palm Beach State College. The new name officially took effect on January 12, 2010.


Palm Beach State College's main campus is located in Palm Beach County, Florida. In addition to the Lake Worth campus, the largest (114 acre/51 building complex) and longest established campus (1956), the college also serves students at full-service locations in Belle Glade (1978), Palm Beach Gardens (1982), Boca Raton (1983) and Loxahatchee Groves (2017).[2]

Organization and administration

The college is part of the Florida College System.


Palm Beach State College enrolls nearly 49,000 students in over 100 programs of study including bachelor of applied science, associate in arts and associate in science degree programs, and short-term certificates.


Demographics of student body (Fall 2018)[3]
Students Florida U.S. Census
African American 26.5% 16.9% 13.4%
Asian American 3.5% 2.9% 5.8%
European American 35.7% 54.1% 60.7%
Hispanic American 29.2% 25.6% 18.1%
Native American 0.5% 0.5% 1.3%

The most popular program of study is the associate in arts degree. Among associate in science degrees, the nursing program has the highest enrollment and number of graduates. In August 2009, the college started its first baccalaureate program, a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision & Management. Palm Beach State now offers three bachelor's degrees in six tracks. Information Management was added in 2011 and Nursing in 2012.

The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Applied Science, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degrees.

The Palm Beach State College truck technology program was ranked as the best in the United States in 2015.[4]


The college athletics teams, which are nicknamed the Panthers, compete in the Southern Conference of the Florida State College Activities Association, a body of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 8. In 2013, the Panther baseball team were runners up at the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. The Panthers lost 7-3 in the National Championship Game to Central Alabama Community College.

Notable people

Among the most notable alumni of Palm Beach State College are actor Burt Reynolds, Jesper Parnevik who currently plays on the PGA Tour, soap opera actress Deidre Hall, Yolanda Griffith an Olympic Gold Medalist and Professional Basketball Player with the WNBA, and James L. Wattenbarger who was the Architect of the Florida Community College system, and Pamela Ketter Browning, author of 50 books for adults and children.

Alumnus status is open to all graduates of Palm Beach State College, as well as all former students of Palm Beach State College who regularly matriculated and left the College in good standing.

Alumnus Notability
Ross Baumgarten MLB baseball player[5]
Dante Bichette MLB baseball player[5]
Wilson G. Bradshaw Current President of Florida Gulf Coast University
Mark Brownson MLB baseball player[5]
Crystl Bustos Olympic Gold Medalist in Softball
William Calley Convicted war criminal (did not graduate)
Tony Cruz MLB player[5]
Paul Dicken MLB baseball player[5]
John R. Ellis Filmmaker and special effects artist
Tal Erel Israel National Baseball Team player
Gar Finnvold MLB baseball player[5]
Mark Foley Former U.S. Representative
Joe Grahe MLB baseball player[5]
Ken Green Professional golfer
Yolanda Griffith Olympic Gold Medalist and Professional Basketball Player
Deidre Hall Television actress
David Manning MLB baseball player[5]
Monte Markham Television and movie actor
Andy McGaffigan MLB baseball player[5]
Bobby Muñoz MLB baseball player[5]
Randy O'Neal MLB baseball player[5]
Jesper Parnevik Professional golfer
Brad Peacock MLB baseball player[5]
Judge Reinhold Television and movie actor
Burt Reynolds Television and movie actor
Antoan Richardson MLB baseball player[5]
Lucia St. Clair Robson Historical novelist
Kevin Siegrist MLB player[5]
Kim Swan Politician, Leader of the Opposition in Bermuda
Robby Thompson MLB baseball player[5]
James L. Wattenbarger Architect of the Florida Community College system
Charles Willeford American writer
Gareth Williams Television and movie actor

See also


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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