The Florida EPIC Program at Jacksonville University
The Florida EPIC (Entrepreneurism, Policy, Innovation, and Commerce) Program was established at Jacksonville University to attract, develop, and retain in-state, highly qualified graduates in fields vital to Florida’s economic prosperity through the support of Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature.
Throughout this partnership, the EPIC Program at JU has advanced in four specific areas:
- JU’s enhanced academic programming closely aligns with Florida’s broad workforce needs;
- JU has significantly reduced the ‘silo effect’ between higher education and the marketplace by engaging local employers in its new programming, and actively involving them in student internships and projects;
- JU’s academic programming ensures gaps are addressed and any new competencies expected by employers are evaluated and incorporated; and
- JU has implemented campus-wide initiatives and experiential learning opportunities to help retain its graduates within the state of Florida, ensuring a larger, better prepared pool of job candidates who are Life Ready, Work Ready, and World Ready.
Align JU’s academic programs with Florida’s workforce needs.
After a careful analysis of Florida’s high-growth, high-demand fields, JU continues to develop new academic programming attuned to these fields. Employment projections set forth by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), coupled with employer feedback about hiring needs, has generated innovative course enhancements that better address the skills Florida’s employers demand. Corresponding disciplines include science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), healthcare sciences, public policy, global trade, aviation, sustainability, and business - collectively referred to as the “EPIC-focused disciplines.”
Create greater alignment with business, and retain graduates in Florida.
The EPIC Program is pursuing the following strategies to address gaps in critical competencies needed by today’s employers and better ensure JU graduates are ready to enter Florida’s workforce:
- Engage Students in a Real World, Project-Based Learning Opportunities
- Engage Business and Industry in Academic Programming
- Enhance Technology Skills and Competencies in the Classroom
- Expand Opportunities for Faculty and Student Research
- Collaborate JU, a part of EPIC which focuses on interdisciplinary research in partnership with JU faculty and students and industry experts