Global Software Leader Microsoft to Join Florida Polytechnic University as Industry Partner

Feb 10, 2014

LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University, the state’s newest university, today announced that it has signed Microsoft to its growing list of industry partners.

Together, Poly and Microsoft will form a collaborative relationship to aid in providing practical, hands-on learning opportunities for students.

“Microsoft is a globally recognizable and reputable brand and we’re happy they have chosen to partner with Florida Poly,” said Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker. “This is a tremendous opportunity and a testament to our applied approach to research and learning.”

Florida Poly is the newest member of the State University System of Florida and is the only state university dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Collaborating with industry leaders like Microsoft to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance is at the foundation of Florida Poly’s mission.

“Working closely with Microsoft officials to develop and enhance our curriculum, as well as using their software in our classrooms, will put Poly students at an advantage,” Parker added. “Not only will they be able to compete for available jobs at Microsoft, they will also be contenders for positions within the thousands of companies that use and service Microsoft software worldwide.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Wash. and employs more than 100,500 people around the world.

“Microsoft is proud to support schools like Florida Poly that are focused on ensuring technology is integrated into the classroom in a meaningful way to help students develop skills and competencies that will make them competitive in the workforce,” said Margo Day, Vice President of U.S. Education at Microsoft.

As an industry partner, Microsoft will support the university in a number of endeavors that may include curriculum development, service on advisory boards, offering industry insight and analysis, providing internships for students, supporting the efforts of the University’s Foundation, conducting joint research, engaging in opportunities to collaborate in product development, teaching in the classroom and hiring Florida Poly graduates.

Florida Poly students will also have the chance to use Microsoft software applications in the classroom.

“We highly value the Microsoft partnership as a strategic enterprise software provider for our innovative Poly Cloud, which is an open access, feature-rich environment for our students, faculty and staff,” said Florida Poly Chief Information Officer Tom Hull. “Our Microsoft campus agreement and modern approach to higher education is a flexible, mobile experience for our students, including access to over 90 educational and administrative software applications. This is essential for preparing our students for success in the STEM curriculum and technology marketplace.”

Florida Poly’s campus, located in Lakeland, Fla. along the I-4 High Tech Corridor, is now under construction. The university will welcome its inaugural class of freshmen, transfer and graduate students in August 2014.