By nature of its location in Gainesville, Santa Fe College has always been in the shadow of the University of Florida. But over the college’s 50 year history, rather than compete with the much larger university, they’ve actually become a partner. The college has tailored its curriculum to groom students for transfer to UF, established a Baccalaureate degree program offering majors UF doesn’t and worked hand-in-hand with local companies to develop courses that specifically address regional employment needs. Yet despite its growth and success over the years, Santa Fe College was still perceived by most people as the local area community college.
Santa Fe College needed a new way to talk about itself and a new set of tools to get the message out. Driven by stories we uncovered from students, faculty, alumni and community members during our Discovery Process, we carefully crafted a voice, tone and message. Rather than highlighting student life or academics, we focused on how at Santa Fe College the programs served as an extension of its students’ passions and careers. This gave us the ability to tell the Santa Fe College story through the experiences of the people who knew it best. The body of work we created was centered around three specific areas – the college’s 50th anniversary, their new Baccalaureate Degrees and their Career and Technical Education Program:
In 2015, Santa Fe College was awarded the prestigious Aspen Prize for excellence and named the number one community college in the nation. Our work for the 5o year anniversary campaign brought in just over ten million dollars, which was four times the college’s projected goal. Other results included a 5% increase in student enrollment and a 65% graduation rate, giving Santa Fe College the highest graduation and transfer rate in the State of Florida.