Cross College Alliance: new goals, powerful network

In 2015, it was announced that six institutions — New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, Eckerd College and The Ringling/FSU — had come together to form the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast, or C4. While we are colleges, universities, and campuses with our own distinct identities and offerings, we share the common vision of building an educational network among the region’s educational organizations, one that amplifies and expands learning opportunities for our collective 18,000 students and the communities in which we live.

For more than a year, representatives from each of the organizations have met regularly to develop clear objectives and discover our place in the community. Through this process, we came to realize that a new brand and name were needed to reflect this emerging identity.

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Steven High, executive director of The Ringling/FSU

The consortium extends beyond our individual institutional borders, and therefore our brand must represent the goals and needs of our collective students, communities and supporters.

The new name — “Cross College Alliance” with the subheading “Rethinking Education. Together.” — highlights the foundation of collaboration and connectivity on which we are building. Our dynamic logo symbolizes the dynamic cross college possibilities among unique but complementary programs, services and philosophies.

We chose Alliance as a relationship based upon mutual benefit and common purpose. The tagline — “Rethinking education. Together.” — captures the Alliance spirit of exploration using the myriad of talent across our faculty, staff, students and community partners. We believe we are truly “better, together”.

We arrived at this name following several months of research and development. After solidifying the mission and purpose of the consortium, we invited students and community members from our various institutions to weigh in. We discovered what is expected and needed from our community, and then used surveys to identify names and words to learn what resonated with our constituents. Students from the Ringling Collaboratory and Design Center created a visual brand that reflect this new name and identity.

The groundwork has been laid, but there is still much to do, and many exciting opportunities ahead. Through a series of new initiatives, we are striving to accomplish several goals across our networks. We are developing collaborative programs and services that will be made available to all students and lifelong learners, with the goal of bringing our students together and building community.

We want to encourage our faculty and staff members — there are 2,000 employees among our six institutions — to work together to promote shared research and increased access to knowledge. We aspire to attract industry to the region. We want to increase opportunities for our graduates and the community and keep the phenomenal talent of our students here in the area.

The Cross College Alliance knows we can work better and smarter together. While each of us has our individual priorities and strengths, we also have many of the same opportunities and tackle many of the same challenges. Across our institutions, we will be rethinking education together and creating exceptional experiences for our students and community.

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