CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County’s diverse college options offer north county students educational opportunities in various fields.

CRESTVIEW —  Okaloosa County’s diverse college options offer north county students educational opportunities in various fields.

Pharmacy School

The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’sPharmacy School, in the Rural Diversity Healthcare Center which opened last August in downtown Crestview, features specialized labs and classrooms with synchronous distance-learning technology. Students caninteract in real time with instructors and students from Tallahassee’s main campus.

The American Council of Pharmaceutical Education recently accredited the school, which has 25 students and plans to add 39 more.

"Twenty-one of them are in their first professional year and four of them are in their fourth professional year," Dr. Margareth Larose-Pierre,associate dean of academic affairs, said. All students receive supervised training in local hospital and store pharmacies.

"The plan is for those students to stay here in the community, do their rotations and find jobs here in the northwestern part of Florida,” she said.

NWFSC Collegiate High School

 Northwest Florida State College’s Collegiate High School in Niceville offers free advanced courses to eligible high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Students attending the public charter school can earn a two-year Associate of Artsor transferable college credits.

Accepted students can take collegiate classes ranging from honors English to Algebra II. They also can take a course that prepares them for college academics. 

Prospective students must meet certain educational criteria, Principal Anthony Boyer said. "We take in 60 collegiate 10th-graders ... who have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have received passing scores on the college placement tests," Boyer said. Fifteen 10th-graders falling just short of these requirements can enter the program upon selection from a lottery. Those students are placed on a waiting list.

Since the charter school opened in 2000, the number of enrolled students has grown from 125 in 2000 to 285 students in 2012, the school stated.

Participation is slowly catching on in Crestview, administrators said.

"I have seen a larger number of applicants from the north end of the county," Boyer said. Out of 186 applicants for next year, 29 are from the county’s north end; 128 are from the south end. The remaining 29 students are from outside the county.

The school is among the state’s A+ high schools.

Boyer gave much of the credit to the students.

"We have always set the bar high for our students, but they have always risen to the occasion." Boyer said, adding that last year’s graduating class had an average 3.4 GPA.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle University, 5210B S. Ferdon Blvd., Crestview, offers curriculum on operation, engineering, research, manufacturing, marketing and management of modern aircraft and supporting systems. The Crestview location has four classrooms in which students can earn an associate degree, bachelor’s or other certifications. Online learning is available.

"The Crestview campus currently has 53 active (graduate and undergraduate) students and 17 more working through the admissions process," said Ashley McCallum, associate director of academic support, in an email.

The university is affiliated with the Okaloosa County School District, Bob Sikes Airport, and regional airports and aeronautical clubs.


Find it online

•See for more information on Northwest Florida State College’s Collegiate High School.

•See for more information on the FAMU Pharmacy School.

•See for more on Embry-Riddle University.

Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.