Santa Fe College Continues to Achieve Excellence

Santa Fe College was named one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation for the second consecutive year. Along with this recognition, the college has also been named a finalist for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence award.

The Aspen Institute is a Washington, D.C.-based organization whose mission is to foster leadership in education. The Excellence Award is based off of students’ achievement in learning, completion, labor market outcome and access and success of minority and low-income students. If Santa Fe wins the Community College Excellence award, the college will win $1 million.

Being ranked in the top 10 in the United States is a cause for celebration for everyone in the college and community, said Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser. Santa Fe’s selection in the top 10 for a total of four years continues to attract national and international students.  Sasser said the college would use the $1 million to reinvest in programs that promote student success and job placement.

A team from the Aspen Institute will conduct a two-day visit to each of the finalists’ campuses to collect data to determine the winner. The team will consist of three experts and one Aspen team member who will then give the data to Aspen’s Finalist Selection Committee. The two-day visit will include interviews with students about their experiences at the college. Santa Fe’s overall student success and 70 percent acceptance rate into the University of Florida are some of the reasons Santa Fe stood out to Aspen. Florida also is home to Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, another finalist for the Aspen Prize. We couldn't be more thrilled to hear such great news and can't wait to celebrate continued success for Santa Fe! 


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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