Miami Dade College, or simply Miami Dade or MDC, is a state college located in Miami, Florida, United States. Miami Dade has eight campuses and twenty-one outreach centers located throughout Miami-Dade County.
Miami Dade College was established in 1959 and opened in 1960 as Dade County Junior College. The original campus was located at the recently built Miami Central High School. The campus consisted of a portion of the school and an adjacent farm. In 1960, a facility was built on an old naval air station near Opa-locka Airport (known as Amelia Earhardt field), which would soon become the College's North Campus. The College enrolled African American students and Cuban exiles who could not afford other schools, becoming Florida's first integrated junior college. As the college grew, a temporary satellite campus opened in what is today Pinecrest at Miami Palmetto High School until the new South Campus (later Kendall Campus) was built in Kendall. Later renamed Miami-Dade Junior College, its two flagship campuses expanded and enrolled more students, eventually outgrowing the University of Florida and Florida State University. After some time, college board of directors' chairman Mitchell Wolfson envisioned a campus at the heart of Downtown Miami, and in 1973, the Wolfson Campus was built. The College changed its name to Miami-Dade Community College around the same time. The College initially implemented an open admissions policy, meaning anyone who could afford classes was allowed to enroll. Because of this, the focus of the College became strengthening its academics. As a result, the Medical Center was built near Miami's Civic Center adjacent to the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital to train students in Allied Health and nursing (RN) programs. With the Mariel exile community arriving in 1980, the College created an outreach center in Hialeah to give incoming refugees educational opportunities. Another outreach center, the InterAmerican center, was built to accommodate bilingual education. The Homestead Campus was built in 1990 in Homestead to relieve the concerns of students having to drive to the Kendall Campus In Miami. In the mid-1990s, the College made use of new media and technologies under the direction of president Eduardo Padrï¿½n. As the Florida legislature reduced the education budget, the College began to rely heavily on the Miami Dade College Foundation, consisting mainly of Alumni, for financial support. The College also had to figure out new ways of recruiting students, and the College began its "Successful Alumni" campaign in the late 1990s, marketing the success of the College's alumni to local prospective students.
Developing a safe and secure environment where a quality education may be achieved is the responsibility of the entire campus community. Within our campus community, the Public Safety Departments are committed to its leadership role in developing programs, methods and approaches to assist the institution toward achieving a reasonably safe and secure environment. The departments exist to support the goals of the college and to assist those who seek and impart knowledge, as well as those who provide support to the mission of the institution. The departments strive to provide an environment where diverse social, cultural and academic values may prosper and grow. All members of the departments are expected to be sensitive to the unique nature of the College community and realize they serve to assist the departments and the institution in the achievement of our goals. It is only through our collective efforts that our mission will be accomplished.
Miami Dade College has produced thousands of alumni over the years. Among the most notable alumni are U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, the former President of Texas A&M University Elsa Murano, the former President of Panama Mireya Moscoso, actor Steven Bauer, the award-winning novelist James Carlos Blake, Major League Baseball outfielder Raï¿½l Ibaï¿½ez, and former Major League Baseball catcher Mike Piazza.