Pre-K to PhD: How Learning Fuels Lake Nona’s Growth

Lake Nona is an epicenter for learning and education thanks to an environment that houses and harnesses incredible brainpower and a commitment to curiosity.

From the littlest scholars to Ph.D. and M.D. candidates to risk-taking entrepreneurs forging their careers paths, Lake Nona is the education hub for 16,000-plus students and some of the nation’s most exciting and forward-thinking learning institutions.

Early Childhood Education: Where It All Begins

Four early-childhood learning institutions are in Lake Nona: The Learning Experience, The Goddard School, Primrose School of Lake Nona and Amazing Explorers Academy. Each school’s learning philosophy is different from the others, but all intertwine learning with play to foster a strong foundation for our littlest minds.

At The Learning Experience, children can investigate and indulge their curiosity in a fun, joyful atmosphere, building a lifelong love of learning and exploring. The Goddard School’s philosophy is that children earn best through hands-on experience, so they’re dedicated to helping children explore and discover through play. 

Accredited and private, The Primrose School’s “grounded in research, fueled by fun” approach to balanced learning provides children a holistic view of the world. Amazing Explorers Academy embraces a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) approach to early childhood learning, designed to inspire, connect and engage the littlest great minds of this century.

Elementary School: Inspiring Students to Reach Their Full Potential

Two elementary schools in Lake Nona — NorthLake Park Community School and Laureate Park Elementary School — are both A-rated by Orange County Public Schools, and a third, Village Park Elementary, opened for the 2021-2022 school year.

NorthLake Park Community School shares its space with the Lake Nona YMCA, and the two entities share resources and encourage parent, teacher and student involvement and interface to achieve lasting school success.

Middle School: Consistent and Challenging Through the Formative Years

Lake Nona Middle School is an A-rated school featuring the most up-to-date, technologically advanced resources for its staff and students. The school’s vision is to ensure every student has a promising and successful future, fueled by their education.

High School: Making Memories and Forging Forward

Since the area’s development first began, Lake Nona High School has served as the launchpad for transitional education between grade school and career choice. The A-rated Lake Nona High School gives students the opportunity to get a head start on college with its partnership with Valencia College, located just next door. The Collegiate Academy offers students the opportunity to complete an A.A. degree during their time in high school, and the Lake Nona High School Health Academy partners with AdventHealth East Orlando to prepare students for future careers in healthcare.

Recent Lake Nona High School graduates were accepted to Columbia University, University of Notre Dame, West Point Military Academy, University of California, Johns Hopkins University, and Vanderbilt University among the top out-of-state schools.

Pre-K to PhD: How Learning Fuels Lake Nona’s Growth 6

Higher Education: Teaching Leaders of the Next Generation

The original plans for Lake Nona focused on the area as a hub for higher learning and advancement in technology and healthcare. It should be no surprise, then, that both the UCF Health Sciences Campus, which includes the College of Medicine, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and newly opened UCF Lake Nona Hospital, and the UF Research and Academic Center, home to the UF College of Pharmacy, are located in Lake Nona.

UCF is also offering a new Professional MBA part-time program starting in the fall of 2022, which has generated a lot of buzz in entrepreneurial circles. The 24-month program is excellent for working professionals who don’t want to interrupt their career, but still want to further their education. For students who already have an idea and are seeking the guidance to take it to the next level, UCF has been selected by the National Science Foundation as an I-Corps Site. The application-only program encourages and mentors students to take their innovative ideas into real-world marketplaces for testing and development. Each selected team receives seed money to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into potential viable companies.

Lake Nona is looking forward to welcoming a new bilingual campus for the Inter American University of Puerto Rico (IUPR). The campus will include 187,000 square feet of academic and administrative buildings, plus on-site housing for nearly 200 students.

With all these students contributing to the continued growth of Lake Nona, including three new public schools currently planned for the area, it’s easy to see how our community has become known as a hub for research and education.

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