Miami Dade College (MDC), the higher education institution with the nation’s largest undergraduate enrollment of more than 175,000 students, recently admitted its 2 millionth student.
Tatyana Rivera, a 2013 Coral Reef Senior High School graduate and new MDC American Dream Scholar, became the 2 millionth student to attend MDC in a community with 2.5 million residents.
“I had no idea. This is so exciting. My brother attended MDC and had a great experience. So I was already excited,” said Rivera, 18. “Now, I am ecstatic.”
Rivera, who was a top student and cheerleader at Coral Reef, aspires to be a pediatrician. She told college officials recently that her first choice was MDC because of the value and quality.
“It was a no-brainer,” she added. “As long as I could remember I’d meet successful MDC graduates everywhere I went.”
In 1960, MDC opened its doors to its first 1,428 students with the idea that anyone with a desire to get a college degree should be given that opportunity. Few of the college’s earliest leaders likely could anticipate this fledgling community college whose first classrooms were built on the site of old chicken coops in northwest Miami would grow to become the largest college in the nation and celebrate the recent admission of its 2 millionth student.
Admitting 2 million students is the latest milestone in a string of achievements over the past five decades that include being Florida’s first racially integrated junior college and becoming the largest college in the state of Florida just seven years after opening.
Over the years, the college has grown to eight campuses and evolved into an exceptional and diverse learning environment that also celebrates more than 300 academic programs, including four-year degrees in several disciplines; talented and dedicated faculty; frequent visits by distinguished personalities; relevant and impactful cultural programming with headline events such as Miami International Film Festival and Miami Book Fair International; an Honors College program hailed by Time magazine as a stepladder to the Ivy Leagues, and college- wide initiatives that help students to succeed at MDC and beyond.
Miami Dade College often is at the forefront of innovations in higher education and has built a reputation for offering the academic and training programs to help graduates attain careers in today’s in-demand fields and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. In fact, it is estimated in a recent study that the activities of MDC and its alumni add $3.3 billion annually in income to the local community.
MDC reached the 100,000th student mark in 1969. In 1999, the nation’s largest institution of higher education accepted its 1 millionth student, and its 1.5 millionth in 2006.
Rivera, a Miami native, assures she will make the college proud.
“It’s a little extra pressure, but I am up to it,” Rivera stated.