The first polytechnic school in the state of Florida is set to join the four campuses in the University of South Florida system in November 2013. While the new campus has a while to be completely finished, they are still accepting students for the fall 2012 session. Although University of South Florida Polytechnic’s (USFP) campus will be brand new, the curriculum and idea of being “polytechnic” has been around since 1988, occupying a joint-use campus in Lakeland with Polk State College.

The word “polytechnic” comes from the Greek word “polytechnos”, which means “skilled in many arts”. According to Chancellor Charles W. Sorenson of the University of Wisconsin-Stout (a polytechnic university), “Polytechnics are comprehensive universities offering professional, career-focused programs…that engage students in active, applied learning, theory and research essential to the future of society, business and industry”. USFP claims that coursework is applied more to math, science and technical disciplines than to liberal arts found at other colleges.

There are three different colleges inside USFP’s academic structure: Technology and Innovation (CTI), Human and Social Sciences, and Applied Arts and New Media. CTI encompasses engineering, information technology, and business divisions. Human and Social Sciences involves allied health sciences, education, and social sciences. Architecture, digital arts and media, and technical and professional communication can be found in the Arts and Media college.

The new USFP campus is designed by Santiago Calatrava, who has designed structures all over the world including the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece and the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin, Ireland. The campus is planned to be spaced around water with some structures actually on the water. USFP has spent $140,000 to produce a 3D video tour of the future campus that can be seen on YouTube and has proposed making a television documentary and DVD to cover the costs.

As of today, the polytechnic campus is considering to separate itself from USF.

Megan Varde

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