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Miami Dade College (Miami Dade or MDC)[5] is a public college in Miami, Florida with eight campuses and twenty-one outreach centers located throughout Miami-Dade County. Founded in 1959, Miami Dade is the largest college in the Florida College System with over 165,000 students [6][7] and the second-largest college or university in the United States. Miami Dade College's main campus, the Wolfson Campus, is in downtown Miami.[8]

Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College Logo
Former names
Dade Junior College
Miami Dade Junior College
Miami Dade Community College
TypePublic College
Established1959; 60 years ago (1959)
Endowment$306 million[1]
PresidentEduardo J. Padrón (Until the end of summer 2019)[2]
Academic staff
Students165,000 (2014–15)
Location, ,
ColorsBlue & Gray          [4]



Miami Dade College was established in 1959 and opened in 1960 as Dade County Junior College. The original campus was located at the recently built Miami Central High School. The campus consisted of a portion of the school and an adjacent farm. In 1960, a facility was built on an old naval air station near Opa-locka Airport (known as Master Field), which would soon become the college's North Campus.[8] The college enrolled African American students and Cuban exiles who could not afford other schools, becoming Florida's first integrated junior college. As the college grew, a temporary satellite campus opened in what is today Pinecrest at Miami Palmetto High School until the new South Campus (later Kendall Campus) was built in Kendall. Later renamed Miami-Dade Junior College, its two flagship campuses expanded and enrolled more students, eventually outgrowing the University of Florida and Florida State University. After some time, college board of directors' chairman Mitchell Wolfson envisioned a campus at the heart of downtown Miami, and in 1973, the Wolfson Campus was built. The college changed its name to Miami-Dade Community College around the same time.

Dade County Junior College opened for classes in fall 1960 with two mostly segregated campuses, one for 1,200 white students at the Central Campus and the other for 185 blacks at Northwestern. The initial separation of blacks and whites reflected the persistence of segregation in Florida’s public schools, despite being ruled unconstitutional nationwide in 1954 by the U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. Today, however, MDC serves as a model of multiracial democracy—defined as “a goal for a nation founded on the principle of human equality”[9]

The college initially implemented an open admissions policy, meaning anyone who could afford classes was allowed to enroll. Because of this, the focus of the college became strengthening its academics. As a result, the Medical Center was built near Miami's Civic Center adjacent to the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital to train students in Allied Health and nursing (RN) programs. With the Mariel exile community arriving in 1980, the College created an outreach center in Hialeah to give incoming refugees educational opportunities. Another outreach center, the InterAmerican center, was built to accommodate bilingual education. The Homestead Campus was built in 1990 in Homestead to relieve the concerns of students having to drive to the Kendall Campus In Miami.

In 1986, the institution started a Teaching and Learning program to produce an advancement program that can help improve the learning system for students and the teaching system for teachers.[10]

In the mid-1990s, the college began to rely heavily on the Miami Dade College Foundation as the Florida legislature reduced the state's education budget. The college also had to figure out new ways of recruiting students and it began its "Successful Alumni" campaign in the late 1990s, marketing the success of the college's alumni to local prospective students.

Beginning in 2001, the college implemented a strategic plan to revamp the college and its recruiting goals. In 2002, the college disbanded its Honors Program and created The Honors College for talented high school graduates. The Honors College is a representation of Miami Dade College's most academically-gifted students in different fields and was originally based in the three larger campuses (Wolfson, Kendall, and North).In 2006, Miami Dade College surpassed 1.5 million students enrolled throughout its history.[11] In 2007, The Honors College expanded into the InterAmerican Campus with The Honors College Dual Language Honors Program to tailor to the needs of the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States as well as abroad. The Dual Language Honors Program opened its doors to bilingual students who wish to continue their careers with professional fluency in the English and Spanish languages. In 2009, The MDC Honors College Dual Language Program earned the merit of Innovation of the Year in the Learning and Teaching Department from the League for Innovation.[12]

In 2003, the college was granted the right to award baccalaureate degrees in education to meet future education needs, and currently offers three bachelor's degrees. As a result, the college changed its name again from Miami-Dade Community College to Miami Dade College to reflect four-year degree possibilities. However, it is overwhelmingly a two-year college focused on awarding associate degrees. Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami Dade College, partnered with Facebook to provide a curriculum for the special training of digital marketing for local business owners, students, and entrepreneurs, making MDC the first ever institution in Florida that partnered with Facebook to provide individuals with a college credit certificate in digital marketing.[13] Miami Dade College will be the first institution in the Southeastern United States to partner with Tesla. Starting fall 2019, The Tesla START Student Automotive Technician Program will commence it's accelerated 12-week program that pays students while they are trained to become an electric vehicle technician.[14] On February 1, 2019 Eduardo Padron, Miami Dade College President, announced that he plans to retire from the position he has held since 1995.[15] Miami Dade College is been ranked number one since 2013 for the colleges[16] on South Florida that received the most enrollment for every semester.


Miami Dade College has seven campuses and two centers, with its main campus being the Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.

Campus Year opened Students Size Location
Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center[17] 1989 2,500+ NA Liberty City
Hialeah Campus[18] 1980
2005 (Official designation)
NA 8 acres Hialeah
Homestead Campus[19] 1990 18 acres Downtown Homestead
Eduardo J. Padron Campus[20] 1986
2001 (Official designation)
6,500 4 acres Little Havana, Miami
Kendall Campus[21] 1967 66,500 185 acres Kendall, Miami
MDC-West[22] 2005 NA 10 acres Doral
Medical Campus[23] 1977 NA 4.3 acres Allapattah, Miami
North Campus[24] 1960 41,000 245 acres Westview
Wolfson Campus
(Main campus)
1970 27,000 15 acres Downtown Miami

These eight campuses and various outreach centers are located throughout Miami-Dade County. The Honors College is currently represented on four campuses, with a new bilingual program (English-Spanish) at the Padron Campus. All campuses have different schools for various disciplines (engineering, business, etc.). Some campuses also operate dual-enrollment programs for high school students. Most campuses also have College Preparatory or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses that help students pass the Computerized Placement Test (CPT) that is required for admittance and proves prospective students are qualified to take college-level mathematics and English courses.

  • The North Campus (11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami FL 33167) has specialized programs that train future firefighters, police officers, and Emergency medical services personnel. It also has a School of Entertainment and Design Technology and has a partnership with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) for engineering programs. It hosts a robot club, created by Professor Manuel Carames in 2010, whose main objective is to show students the importance of Mathematics in its relation with other sciences such as Physics and Engineering[26][2]. The North Campus also operates the Carrie Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center in Liberty City. The campus also offers a Bachelor in Applied Science degree in Public Safety that is housed within the School of Justice.
  • The Kendall Campus (11011 SW 104th St., Miami FL 33176) serves as the college's Enrollment Office and Disbursing Office. Kendall Campus also houses the college's athletic teams. The 185-acre campus opened in 1967.[27] The college president's office is based here, as well as The Honors College and the Miami Dade College Foundation.[28]
  • The Wolfson Campus (300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami FL 33132) was opened in 1970 and is the only comprehensive urban campus in the city. Located within the city's financial, governmental, technological and cultural hubs, Wolfson educates over 27,000 students each year. Each year, this campus hosts the Miami Book Fair International, the nation's largest literary festival. The campus has two art galleries, a library, and two computer courtyards. The Wolfson Campus also has business and paralegal studies programs.
  • The Medical Center[29] (950 NW 20th St., Miami FL 33127) Miami Dade College opened its medical campus in 1977.[30] It is located in Miami's Medical District near downtown Miami, trains students in the Nursing (BSN/RN) and Allied Health fields, completing the Associate in Applied Science degree that will allow them immediate entry into health professions. The Medical Campus also offers Bachelor's degrees.[31] The campus shares its complex with The University of Miami's School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital and Miami Dade College Public Health Service[32]
  • The Homestead Campus (500 College Ter., Homestead FL 33030) contains the college's aviation program, one of thirteen schools in the nation accredited ATC-CTI (Air Traffic Control Collegiate Training Initiative) status by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It also possesses, in addition to the Medical Campus, the renowned Benjamin Leon School of Nursing that has trained over fifty percent of nurses in Miami-Dade County.[33]
  • The Eduardo J. Padrón Campus (627 SW 27th Ave., Miami FL 33135) contains the School of Education which offers Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees.[34]
  • The New World School of the Arts (25 NE 2nd St., Miami FL 33132) is both a high school and a college that focuses on visual arts, theatre, dance, and music. Admission requirements include an audition or review of the applicant's art portfolio.
  • The Hialeah Campus (1780 W 49th St., Hialeah FL 33012), a former extension of the North Campus, houses a large and comprehensive English language training program for speakers of other languages in various instructional formats. Construction of a 1,000 car parking garage and a new building housing classrooms, science labs, and student services was completed in 2014. The Hialeah Campus offers associate programs and the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management.[35]
  • The West Campus (3800 NW 115th Ave., Doral FL 33178) opened in March 2006 for students residing in or near Doral.[36] The campus had begun construction on a new 5 story garage in January 2012; in October of the same year the garage collapsed, this collapse resulted in the death of 4 construction workers. In 2015 the contractors and subcontractors involved in the project reached an agreement with Miami Dade College in the amount of 33.5 million dollars.[37]
  • The Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Educational Center (6300 NW 7th Ave., Miami FL 33150) is an outreach center founded in 1989. This campus offers college credit courses but focuses on non-credit courses and vocational programs, seminars, and workshops to train people for employment.[38]
  • The Access to Success, is for students that have disabilities and help them get assistance.[39] There are services, such as note takers, sign language interpreter, and assistive technology to help students in need.[40]

Aside from New World School of the Arts and the MEEC, there are nineteen other outreach centers MDC administers.[41][42]


Out of approximately 165,000 students, on average, almost 6,000 go on to earn a bachelor degree, associate degrees, vocational, technical, or college credit certificates. Associate in Arts transfer students from Miami Dade College go on to transfer primarily to schools within the State University System of Florida, though some do transfer to out-of-state institutions, mainly through articulation agreements made between institutions.

In 2010, Miami Dade College's Schools of Engineering and Technology that develops students to researchers , used a 1 million - plus U.S dollars grant from the National Science Foundation to start a computer laboratory used by student so they can apply their skills in resolving real-life-problems[43][44]


Demographics of student body (2017)[45]
Students Florida U.S. Census
African American 16.4% 16.9% 13.4%
Asian American 1.2% 2.9% 5.8%
European American 6.6% 54.1% 60.7%
Hispanic American 72.1% 25.6% 18.1%
Multiracial American 0.6% 2.1% 2.7%
Native American 0.1% 0.5% 1.3%
International student 2.1% N/A N/A

The college hosts the School for Advanced Studies (SAS), a limited admission opportunity for Miami-Dade Public School students. High school classes are held at Kendall, Hialeah, Wolfson, and North Campus alongside regular college credit courses, and students choose three college classes per semester to take in place of traditional high school electives. College books and tuition is paid for by the county, and there is no cost to students. Bus service is also provided throughout the county to the schools. The goal is to allow students to earn their Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree while earning their high school diploma. SAS is the 15th best high school in the nation, and is repeatedly one of the highest ranking high schools.[46] MDC also has a virtual college, where a degree can be attained completely over the internet.

The college offers Dual Enrollment for students who currently are attending Miami-Dade County public high school, private high schools, or home school. Dual enrollment allows students to enroll in a college course. The credits that are gained will be used toward both high school graduation and are accepted toward an Associate or Bachelor's degree at Miami Date college.[47]


Campus Presidents[48]
Name Campus
Dr. Anthony Cruz Hialeah
Dr. Jeanne F. Jacobs Homestead and West
Dr. Pascale Charlot Kendall
Dr. Malou C. Harrison North and Padrón
Dr. Bryan Stewart Medical
Dr. Beatriz Gonzalez Wolfson


Miami Dade College competes in five sports, mens basketball, mens baseball, womens basketball, womens softball, and womens volleyball. In total, they have 85 student athletes made up of 38 men and 47 women.[49]

Miami Dade's Baseball team program started in 1962. Although at the time, Kendall campus, North campus, and Wolfson campus had their own individual fielded teams. However, once the school changed to a four-year college from a community college, they united to make a baseball team.[50]

The school's athletic teams competed in the Southern Conference of the Florida State College Activities Association, a body of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 8. Due to their players and good ranking, Miami Dade College was a "can't miss stop" for MLB scouts.[51]


Miami Dade College has been collecting art at its individual campuses since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown to more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, film, installation and public sculpture.[52] MDC Hialeah Campus opened an Art Gallery in late 2018 in Hialeah, Florida.[53] MDC Hialeah Campus Arts & Cultural Programs are partially supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The college has an "Emerging Artist Annual Exhibition"[54] which allows student to display their art in the "Art + Design"[55][56][57] museum. Miami Dade College also has an "MDC live Art"[58][59][60] event which allows student to perform on stage and inspire others through their performance of art; both are open to the community.[61][62]

Annually since 1964, Miami Dade College has awarded the Francis Wolfson Art Scholarship. More than 200 students from Miami Dade College and its outreach center, the New School of the Arts, have received this scholarship. The winners in 2018 each received $1,500.[63][64]

Notable alumniEdit

Among the most notable alumni of the college are U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the former City of Miami Mayor. Manny Diaz, the former President of Texas A&M University Elsa Murano, the former President of Panama, Mireya Moscoso, the Republican politician John L. Mica, the actor Sylvester Stallone, actor Steven Bauer, actor Oscar Isaac, the award-winning novelist James Carlos Blake (who also taught at Miami Dade College Wolfson from 1984 to 1997). Miami Dade College has also produced notable sports figures such as the Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder Raúl Ibañez, former MLB catcher Mike Piazza, and former MLB infielder Placido Polanco,[65][66] Cuban artist Agnes Chavez and Harvard Law professor and defense attorney Jose Baez attended the college. Clarinetist Elizabeth Schubert taught at MDC as an adjunct professor of music and musician Rachel Goodrich attended the Jazz Program.[67]


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  2. ^ "Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón to step down after half a century at school". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Page Not Found - Miami Dade College". Retrieved 29 May 2015.
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  7. ^ Padrón, Eduardo J. (June 2013). "Increasing the Relevance of Curricular and Student Services in the Urban Community College". New Directions for Community Colleges. 2013 (162): 63–73. doi:10.1002/cc.20060. ISSN 0194-3081.
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External linksEdit