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Graduate from the Miami Dade College

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Miami Dade College opened its doors in 1960 amid the transition of desegregation and the influx of thousands of Cuban refugees. Initially, 1,428 students entered "Chicken Coop College," nicknamed for the original buildings that were transformed into classrooms. Dade County Junior College, as it was then known, was open to any county resident who had graduated from high school. The student body included the seven black students who made Dade County Junior the first integrated junior college in Florida. These students, along with the many Cuban refugees seeking to better their lives, paid a five dollar application fee, but tuition was free to all county residents.

By the mid-60s, the College was already thinking long range. With nearly 15,000 students attending, the original North Campus buildings were bursting at the seams. New construction was under way, with an eye toward not only a second campus in Kendall, but a third in downtown Miami. By 1967, the College was the largest institution of higher education in the state of Florida, enrolling 23,341 students. Dade Junior had become the fastest-growing junior college in the nation. It enrolled more freshmen than the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of South Florida combined.