Eckerd College is built on the foundation of creating a high quality and supportive environment that encourages students to challenge their education and their thinking patterns. Most commonly known for popular and unique majors such as Marine Science, and environmental studies programs that allow students to study abroad and discover their ambitions and talents in the field. Eckerd College students are surrounded by a close-knit community that remains engaged in campus life and the surrounding area.
Aside from a strong academic foundation, Eckerd College has established a solid community of student-run organizations, clubs and intercollegiate groups that meet routinely. The clubs keep students involved in civil service and inter-community relations, and represent various viewpoints and social interests. Additionally, Eckerd College is internationally known for its Waterfront Program which currently ranks as one of the top water sports teams in the country.
Eckerd College was founded in 1958, with the intention to create a large scale selection of courses based on a liberal arts curriculum to encourage students to challenge themselves daily on multiple levels. Over the years following its inception, the College began making its mark on the nation with a memorable commencement ceremony that has taken place in Pinellas County since 1960. Eckerd College truly represents the essence of community as it was established and built by a church and board of trustees that worked side by side with faculty and students to ensure the success of the school and mission.
Eckerd College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Eckerd College developed from the high demand for quality educational facilities to accommodate the soldiers returning from World War II. Combined efforts from both the United Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church developed the foundation of the school in St. Petersburg to meet those needs. Fundraising began to support the schools structure, building and student offerings. By 1958, Eckerd College was chartered under the name Florida Presbyterian College and established a board of trustees. Two years later, the school began offering students instructional programs and soon expanded onto land donated by the City of St. Petersburg. Within the initial ten years of operation, Eckerd College established a strong academic foundation upon which students can develop their education, leadership qualities and talents effectively. Many of the organizations that formulated in these early days still exist today.
Eckerd College offers a well-developed and active campus life that encourages students to become involved with their community, both on and off campus. The Student Life staff actively contributes to the daily involvement of students and the development of activities that stimulate students intellectually and socially. Student safety is of the utmost importance at Eckerd College, which is why members of the Student Affairs Division staff work actively to maintain a safe and secure surrounding for students that promotes equality and diversity acceptance. Many students participate in the community service programs established on and off campus, which help raise funds for local charities and provide mentoring programs for young teens and adolescents.
There is a wide range of opportunities lurking throughout the campus grounds at Eckerd College; many students picnic and enjoy the outdoor activities, while other choose to remain indoors appreciating the live performances and professional preparation seminars.
Many students prefer to live on campus during their college experience to optimize their education, and remain an active part of campus life. First-year students house together in the residence halls while undergraduates are able to take advantage of the apartment and townhouse style complexes or the many fraternity or sorority houses on campus. Members of the student government, residence life staff and Office of Student Affairs make themselves readily available to assist students in their daily needs concerning employment, professional training and basic essentials such as scheduling and health facilities.
Eckerd College strives to ensure that students are not overwhelmed by tuition and other expenses while attending school. For this reason, the school places high emphasis on financial aid options, providing students with a wealth of scholarship and grant opportunities. Upon admission, all students are considered for various merits, artistic, athletic and need based funding that can help them pay for partial or full tuition costs.
Although Eckerd College accepts the traditional funding forms such as NYS TAP and FAFSA loans, many students also apply for smaller scale grants that can help alleviate expenses such as the cost of books or commuting. The work-study program enables students an additional resource to pay for incidentals independently, by proving employment opportunities on and off campus. There are currently over 100 jobs offered on campus grounds through the work-study program, including positions available through the study abroad program.
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