Volume 48, Number 1 - August 16, 2010

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Theo Karantsalis
Theo Karantsalis
Staff Writer

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Serving the community for 20 years

By Theo Karantsalis

Picture of map from north campus to meek center

The Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center sits on half an acre at 6300 NW 7 Ave., and is part of Miami Dade College’s North Campus.

Built in 1989, it serves more than 3,500 students annually.

The center focuses on community and business development, offering credit and non-credit courses, as well as entrepreneurial, certificate and vocational programs. This fall, the center will offer about 150 different courses ranging from algebra to Jewish history and culture.

“It’s my greatest legacy,” said former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek, who was instrumental in securing funding for the center and whose name graces the building.

“There is no greater gift to bestow on a community than a knowledge center.”

The center—also known as the Meek Center— has established strong relationships with its feeder high schools that include North Miami, North Miami Beach, the Continuing Opportunities for Purposeful Education Center and others.

To help students reach their personal and career goals, there are multimedia classrooms, four computer labs, a full-service library, math tutors, and an academic resource lab on-site.

“The Meek Center is a unique learning environment offering students the individualized attention and personal service focused on ensuring success and that students achieve their goals,” said H. Leigh Toney, the center’s executive director.

A hub for a variety of seminars, conferences and workshops, the center attracts top business leaders and talent to share their knowledge.

In April, college and community leaders celebrated the center’s 20th anniversary.

“The Meek Center shall continue to be an educational anchor in the community,” said Dr. José A. Vicente, president of the North Campus.

The students who attend the Meek Center are happy to hear that.

“I feel safe here because we’re a small family and everyone knows each other,” said Marie Dezine, 19, a second-year biology major who graduated from North Miami High. “It’s like a private school without the high price.”

The Meek Center also offers an opportunity, students say, to bridge the cultural and age gap between some of its students.

“This is where old school and new school students meet to share ideas,” said Bobby Swain, 54, a business major taking 15 credits at the center. “We’re like ants learning to lift 10 times our weight to get ready for the real world.”

Swain recently gathered with younger students from the Meek Center at an outreach event in downtown where they met the Rev. Jesse Jackson face-to-face to rally for more transit funds.

“There is real energy here,” Swain said.

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.