South Florida State College serves the tri-county district of Highlands, Hardee, and DeSoto counties, and makes up most of Florida’s Heartland. The district is known for its agriculture (primarily, citrus and cattle), sparkling lakes, beautiful weather, strong winter tourist season, and friendly people.
SFSC’s 228-acre Highlands Campus in Avon Park is located along central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge, on U.S. Highway 27 in Highlands County. The Highlands Campus lies within easy driving distance of two international airports, Orlando’s numerous theme parks, and the state’s famous beaches. Avid auto racing fans will recognize the area as the home of the annual 12 Hours of Sebring.
Lake Placid, the site of SFSC’s Lake Placid Center, is known for its colorful murals and heralded as “the Caladium Capital of the World.” It was named “America’s Most Interesting Town” in the January 2013 issue of Reader’s Digest.
Predominantly agricultural, Highlands County has a year-round population of 87,000 and is surrounded by citrus groves and cattle ranches. The area has been blessed with over 30 lakes. In fact, the 27,962-acre Lake Istokpoga is renowned for freshwater fishing.
SFSC’s Hardee Campus is located immediately west of Highlands County in Bowling Green. The county encompasses 673 square miles. Residents enjoy the lush, green countryside year-round, and most are involved in agriculture.
SFSC first established a presence in DeSoto County in 1984. Its agricultural economy is strong in citrus and cattle. Located only 45 minutes from Florida’s west coast, the town of Arcadia and the surrounding community boast a quiet, rural appeal. Area residents and visitors look forward to the world famous All Florida Championship Rodeos in winter and summer.