Edison’s Martin welcomed in Cape Coral
The Cape Coral Community Foundation invited newly elected president Dr. James Martin of Edison State College to Cape Coral for a special reception to welcome him to the community courtesy of Paul Homes Model.
The foundation invited Martin to Cape Coral because members wanted to share how much money has been given in grants and scholarships to Cape Coral residents who have decided to attend Edison, Executive Director Beth Sanger said.
The foundation also wanted to host a reception to provide residents with the opportunity to meet Martin.
Since the foundation was formed in 1973, it has provided $1 million in scholarships and grants into the community. The foudnation has provided $175,000 to 125 students who attended Edison as their school of choice.
Before becoming the president of Edison’s Lee County campus on July 17, Martin was the vice president of student affairs at Pensacola Junior College.
Martin said although he has been a part of Florida’s education for more than 10 years, Edison’s reputation is what brought him to Southwest Florida. He said Edison is the fastest-growing college in the state of Florida.
Martin shared with those who attended the event that Edison’s student population has grown 53 percent in the last three years and 12 percent from last year.
He told Mayor John Sullivan during his speech that he found out how many students are from the Cape Coral ZIP code.
“One third of the population comes from the Cape zip code,” he said.
He also shared information about the new collegiate high school, the number of baccalaureate degrees Edison offers and the addition of residence homes on campus.
The Collegiate High School opened to the first 100 freshman this year. An additional 100 students will be added every year until they have 400 students to fill the freshman through senior classes.
Martin said Edison currently offers 10 baccalaureate degrees, which includes the two most popular degrees of nursing and education. The program has approximately 350 registered nurse graduates a year and is the 13th largest nursing program in the United States.
In 2012, between 400 and 450 residence homes will be added to the Edison campus to provide housing for students. Martin said it will be traditional housing with women occupying one side and men the other.
Martin told everyone that he enjoyed crossing the bridge to come to the reception because when he lived in Pensacola, he had to cross a three-mile bridge every time he had to go anywhere.
“Coming across the bridge is therapy for me,” he said.
Martin said he wants to partner with the folks in Cape Coral to enhance the experience students have when attending Edison State College.
“The bridge is not a boundary…it is a connection,” Martin said about working with the citizens of Cape Coral. “I find the people in the Cape to be friendliest people in the world.”
He ended the reception by telling everyone from his “heart”…“please feel free to come out” and visit Edison because “it is your college.”
As the president, Martin said he wants to see the college continue to grow, along with enhancing the academics for the students. He said he also wants to become involved in the community.
“We are here to meet the needs of the local community,” he said, adding that he welcomes individuals to call him and tell him what he can do to help enhance their experience with Edison.
Edison State College has a total of 23,290 students, with 13,715 at the Lee County campus, 4,016 at the Collier County campus, 2,747 at the Charlotte County campus, 631 at the Hendry/Glades campus and 2,181 online students. The average age for those taking a credited course is 26-years-old and 45 for noncredit courses. Sixty percent of the those taking a credited course are women and 39 percent are men.