Florida Technical College and Heart of Florida United Way Launch Pathway to Earn High School Diploma

Penn Foster ScholarshipORLANDO, Fl. September 14, 2022 –Starting today, Central Florida working adults have a new option for attaining their high school diploma thanks to a partnership between Florida Technical College (FTC) and Heart of Florida United Way.

The organizations are pleased to announce the launch of Access to Thrive in Education Scholarship, an initiative that will award 177 full scholarships to adults seeking to obtain their secondary credential.  The application deadline for the scholarship is Thursday, Saturday, October 30, 2022. To be eligible to apply, students must have completed eighth grade. The scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This program plays an integral part in FTC’s effort to offer pathways to educational development opportunities and break down barriers for underserved adults,” said Dr. James Michael Burkett, president of Florida Technical College. “We recognize that a significant percentage of adults in our community do not have the luxury of time or financial resources to access educational programs. This accelerated, online, and tuition-free option is available to fill that gap.”

“We believe that education is the key to upward mobility,” said Jeff Hayward, President & CEO, Heart of Florida United Way. “It’s our hope that through this partnership with FTC, we are able to enhance the lives of students, and improve their chances for family-sustaining employment – now and for generations to come.”

The free high school completion program will be provided through Penn Foster High School. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, e-books, graduation documents and transcripts.

“This scholarship aims to accelerate adult learners’ progression on a career trajectory and upward progression, and ultimately, create a positive impact on our community,” added Dr. Burkett.

According to a report published last year by the  American Institute for Research, the traditional K–12 system has lost over 26 million adults who have not attained a high school credential, and postsecondary education has not been realistically available for millions more. The shortcomings of our educational system are further reflected in the fact that nearly 40% of U.S. adults have below a basic level of English literacy, and nearly as many have not yet acquired the digital literacy required for today’s good jobs.

To learn more about the Access to Thrive in Education Scholarship visit




About FTC: Founded in 1982 to provide private, post-secondary education in specialized fields including Healthcare, Construction Trades, Hospitality, Beauty, Information Technology and Business. NUC – FTC campuses are located in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lakeland, DeLand, Pembroke Pines, South Miami and Tampa. Program availability varies by campus. NUC University (NUC) is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) www.msche.org. NUC’s NUC University – IBC Technical Division (NUC-IBC), NUC University – Florida Technical College (NUC-FTC), and The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (The DAVE School) are included in this accreditation. NUC’s accreditation status is Accreditation Reaffirmed. The Commission’s most recent action on the institution’s accreditation status on 2019 was to reaffirm accreditation.  MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

About Heart of Florida United Way

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. In 2019-20, it raised and managed more than $34.7 million in total resources, including $29.5 million raised for the Community Fund that invests in dozens of vitally important programs in the community throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. HFUW fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida. It operates United Way 211, Central Florida’s information and assistance, crisis, suicide and referral helpline; Volunteer Resource Center and the Ryan White program, which administers nearly $3.2 million to provide HIV/AIDS services and referrals. HFUW impacts more than 400,000 individuals annually through its direct service and funded programs. United Way partners with local businesses, government, other charities to increase awareness of local health and human service issues and to inspire hope, provide options and create possibilities for people in need. Visit www.HFUW.org for more information, or call (407) 835-0900. Follow us on Facebook at Heart of Florida United Way and on Twitter and Instagram @hfuw.