The Swift Family Foundation has awarded State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) a $7,500 grant for its Gator Engineering Den at SCF Venice. The Swift Family Foundation provides grants for educational endeavors in medicine and technology areas. After a successful practice in Iowa, Dr. Frederick Swift moved to Gainesville in 1970.

SCF has been chosen by University of Florida (UF) to become one of only two extension sites in Florida for Gator Engineering.  Gator Engineering at SCF includes live-learn-work experiences, including co-ops, internships and job shadowing with local companies. The collaboration will create an innovative and technologically-ready engineering workforce available to employers in Manatee and Sarasota counties. By starting their education and internships locally, UF graduates are expected to return to embark on their careers.

UF lacks the capacity to admit all the qualified students who apply to its engineering program each year.  UF selected SCF as an extension of its program, offering a Bachelor of Science in engineering degree that allows local students to begin their coursework and then move on to the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. The Swift Family Foundation grant will support Gator Engineering and the Gator Engineering Den with technology and capital needs.

Gator Engineering and the Gator Engineering Den were established to eliminate the barrier for many Florida students, many first generation, who may not have funds or the transportation to enroll at UF as a freshman.  By creating a hub at SCF Venice, students will have an opportunity to develop plans to move to Gainesville with guidance from the onsite Gator Engineering advisor.

For information about Gator Engineering at SCF, contact Heather Shehorn at or 941-408-1416. For information on setting up grants and scholarships for one of SCF’s programs and capital campaigns, contact Barbara Bourgoin at or 941-752-5398.