Dental chair and equipmentJune 18, 2024 – South Florida State College (SFSC) is grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis for approving $1,975,000 in legislative funds to upgrade the Dental Education facility and equipment on the Highlands Campus in Avon Park.

“We thank Governor DeSantis, Representative Tuck, Senator Grall, and the entire legislature for their dedication and focus on education in Florida,” said Fred Hawkins, president of SFSC. “As a result of this funding, our students will be better prepared for careers in modern dentistry.”

The state funding will support the purchase of equipment to outfit 13-15 operatories, focusing on ergonomic design, which increases the Dental Clinic capacity by 25%. An upgrade to technology will include up-to-date 3D technology and digital clinic and lab operations, such as printing, scanning, X-rays, and intra-oral cameras. The purchase will also incorporate patient simulators, student workspaces, debriefing spaces, student computers, and technological accessories.

“South Florida State College is a shining star in Central Florida’s own backyard,” said Dr. Steven M. Guelff, DMD, an orthodontist with offices in Lake Wales and Sebring, Fla. “The nearly $2 million grant for the Dental program is a game changer.”

SFSC will creatively expand and enhance the learning opportunities available to students in its Dental Education programs to prepare for the increasing complexities of the healthcare environment that students enter upon graduation. Dental training requires a setting that mirrors contemporary dental practice, and these funds will provide the resources needed to modernize and update the 20-year-old Dental Education clinic and lab spaces to provide a holistic healthcare setting.

SFSC’s Dental Clinic provides patient care to community members. It allows for student clinical competency attainment through screenings, dental hygiene therapy, X-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, and patient education.

For more information about the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs at SFSC, call 863-784-7225 or email