Since inception, Doral College has sought to make college more accessible to students by leveraging innovation and flexibility to create a pathway for students hindered by traditional barriers. This began with the goal of increasing early college opportunities for minority high school students in South Florida. While dual enrollment in itself was not a new or novel concept, the College’s approach sought to completely integrate the high school experience of qualified students by allowing them to earn Associate in Arts degrees in conjunction with their high school diplomas. This vision was made possible when Doral College received its initial license to operate from the Commission for Independent Education (CIE) in the State of Florida in 2011.
The College opened on the campus of Doral Academy Charter High School to fulfill its mission of permitting students to make a seamless transition to college while still attending high school. The College entered into an agreement with Doral Academy Preparatory to provide college services through its Associate in Arts Degree program. Students began to attend Doral College classes concurrently with their high school classes, working simultaneously toward both their high school diplomas and AA degrees through three instructional delivery models: face to face, online, and hybrid.
This program focused on providing students with the critical thinking skills necessary to adapt to the career challenges of the 21st century. Its initial success was made possible by the close, personalized attention given to students and enhanced by the college’s location within the nurturing environment of the students’ current school community.
To provide increased access to students of other high schools in settings comfortable to them, Doral College soon began offering its services to students within other high performing charter school systems, including Mater Academy, Somerset Academy, SLAM Academy, Pinecrest Academy, and others. By 2018, the College had grown to serve nearly 1,000 students from four different counties in Florida.
Since then, participation has only grown throughout the state. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the college expects to serve over 3,000 dual enrollment students from nearly 50 schools in 11 counties in Florida. In its short existence, the College’s enrollment has grown tremendously from 143 courses taken in Fall of 2013 to 3,514 in Fall 2020.
A Growing Emphasis on Distance Learning
As enrollment has grown, and student and faculty needs evolved, so has the College’s emphasis on use of technology. Doral College has worked diligently to foster a digital learning ecosystem that connects faculty, staff, and students to enhance learning, collaboration, and community. Over the years, Doral College has continuously adopted and promoted modern learning tools and platforms that ensure digital connectivity and facilitates access to learning.
During campus closures brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic during Fall 2020, 99% of enrollments were delivered via online and hybrid delivery methods and approximately 85% of the Doral College Catalog is available fully online.
Eight Graduating Classes of Dual Enrollment Students
The College’s first class included 22 dual enrollment students who graduated with an Associate in Arts Degree in May 2014. Doral College has graduated six dual enrollment classes of AA graduates since then–11 students in 2015, 29 in 2016, 50 in 2017, 67 in 2018, 49 in 2019, 136 in 2020, and 230 in 2021. To date, all graduates have been accepted to and gone on to attend four-year institutions, many of which are considered some of the most prestigious in the country. DC alumni can be found on the campuses of Harvard University, the University of Chicago, New York University, Cornell University, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Florida International University, Stanford University, and MIT, to name a few.
Initial Accreditation & Participation in SCNS
In February of 2018, Doral College received accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) to award an Associate in Arts degree. DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Shortly thereafter, the College had its courses approved by the Florida Statewide Common Course Number System (SCNS), which facilitates transferability among member schools, including all public colleges and universities in the state, as well as private schools like DC, which have elected to participate. Currently, all Doral College courses are approved through this system.
New Populations & the Addition of the BSED
In Fall 2020, Doral College celebrated another milestone–the launch of it’s first Bachelors degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with endorsements in ESOL and Reading. The program recently underwent program accreditation through DEAC, and is an approved teacher licensure program in the state of Florida. The College expects this program will meet an urgent need in its community for motivated, qualified teachers.
In the spring of that year, in preparation for this launch, the College began to welcome non-dual enrollment students for the first time. Coined “undergraduate” to distinguish them from the college’s usual population of high school students, this group of students is varied and unique in its own way. Many are recent high school graduates who took dual enrollment courses with Doral College and are enrolling as Guest Students, seeking to transfer credit back to other schools throughout the state. Others are non-traditional students who deferred college to enter the workforce and are enrolled in the College’s Associate in Arts program with the aim of continuing to the new Bachelor’s program. As of Fall 2021, the College had also conferred seven Associate in Arts degrees to undergraduate students, and expects its first class of Bachelors degree graduates in December of 2022.
In all cases, Doral College’s flexible, personalized approach and online offerings make it possible for these students to benefit from their studies much in the same way as their dual enrollment counterparts. An affordable tuition rate also helps motivate them to find the means to take the leap and further their education.
Administration & Location
The first president of Doral College, who served from its inception until July of 2015, was Anitere Flores. The second president, Douglas Rodriguez, served until 2021 and was followed by current president Judith C. Marty.
Doral College is located in the city of Doral within Miami-Dade County. In the Spring of 2019, it opened a new building, Doral Hall, which is located at 2525 NW 112 Avenue, Doral, FL 33172. Doral Hall is located on the 11-acre campus of Doral Academy Charter High School, and houses the College’s classrooms, labs, and administrative offices.