Ten universities and colleges, strong public and private school systems, and five technical vocational schools form the educational backbone for Southwest Florida. Providing a regional perspective is The Alliance of Educational Leaders, representing the CEOs of the region’s five districts and seven SACS accredited universities.
- Universities and colleges: Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Florida Southwestern State College (FSW), Hodges University, Ave Maria University, Rasmussen College, Keiser University, Nova Southeastern University, and Southwest Florida College. FGCU not only excels in academics but is a Division 1 school that made history as “Dunk City” when its Eagles basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2013.
- Public education serving 166,000 students: Southwest Florida provides 90 elementary schools, 32 middle schools, 39 high schools and 23 charter schools. See the county profiles section for public school zone maps.
- 77 percent of students achieved an A or B from the state standardized testing, the FCAT (Florida Comprehension Assessment Test).
- Private education, serving 12,300 students: There are 67 private schools that consist of 49 Christian schools, one Jewish school, and 17 non-religious schools, along with several Montessori schools.