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UWF leads state in percentage of bachelor’s graduates employed in Florida Board of Governors performance metrics

The University of West Florida is No. 1 in the Florida State University System for Metric 1 of the Florida Board of Governors’ 2020-21 performance-based funding model. More than 79% of UWF bachelor’s graduates are employed or furthering their education one year after graduation.

UWF students pose in their graduation regalia on the Pensacola campus on Apr. 21, 2021.

“Success in this metric is a testament to our hard-working students, faculty and staff and our no limits approach to education,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “We’re proving that at UWF, we’re building a culture of excellence that prepares students for success once they leave our campus.”

The University increased the percentage of employed and/or furthering education graduates by nearly six percentage points from last year. UWF provides students with internships and high-impact practices, not only to support academic success, but also to build early professional experience and encourage networking.

The UWF Office of Career Development and Community Engagement has shown a laser focus on equipping educators and employers with knowledge and resources to recruit and train students for future careers in the midst of an ever-changing job market, while empowering students to seek every opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning before graduation.

UWF also excelled in Metric 2, median wages of bachelor’s graduates employed full-time one year after graduation, with a median salary of $45,200, an increase of more than $4,000 from last year’s metrics. UWF graduates’ median salary is higher than almost all metric-participating SUS institutions, trailing only the University of Florida and Florida Polytechnic University.

UWF has focused efforts on offering programs of strategic emphasis that are in high demand, such as cybersecurity, engineering and other STEM-focused programs. Graduates from these areas typically earn higher wages.

“I am proud of the University’s commitment to continue improving year after year,” said UWF Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. George Ellenberg. “Our student’s best interest is what is at heart. When they succeed, we succeed.”

UWF earned a total of 83 points out of 100 on the Board’s performance-based funding model results, one point higher than the institution’s 2019-20 score.

Under the performance funding model, the Board of Governors scores each of Florida’s 12 public universities based on 11 metrics designed to incentivize university excellence and improvement. These metrics establish a minimum acceptable level of performance on issues such as graduation and retention rates. The Board, with influence from the governor and Florida State Legislature, selects 10 of the metrics, with the last one chosen by each institution’s Board of Trustees.

Each university must reach a minimum of 70 points in order not to lose their base funding and be eligible for new state funding.