David Cluff came to Florida College to study in the new music education program in hopes of one day serving as a middle-school or high-school band director.

“I’ve always been interested in music education, and Florida College just started up the program when I got here,” David said.

Now Florida College’s Bachelor of Science program in music education has been fully approved by the Florida Department of Education, allowing graduates like David to begin their teaching careers with a full five-year professional teaching certificate. They will have the opportunity to work closely with students in settings that provide opportunities for crucial guidance in ways that they may not receive elsewhere.

Although the music education program typically requires five years of study, David plans to complete his coursework in four years and graduate in May 2017. Being a part of a small, private school with a personalized program has allowed him to have the opportunity to gain this wide variety of experience in music, preparing him to better serve his students someday.

“Being exposed to different things helps you be well rounded,” David said. “If I would’ve gone somewhere else, I wouldn’t have been involved in so many different things.”

In addition to his classes, David is able to participate in a variety of extracurricular organizations. He has been a member of the chorus, jazz band, pep band, wind ensemble and pit orchestra for the annual musical. He is also currently serving as the president of Florida College’s chapter of NAfME, the National Association for Music Educators.

Participating in extracurricular organizations at Florida College also gives David the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded peers. Sharing common values with his peers allows him to build more meaningful relationships with them, and he is confident that the friendships he has cultivated at Florida College will last a lifetime.

“The people that I’ve met here and the friendships and bonds that we have are incredible,” David said. “When I leave this place, I will have so many Christian friends who are living their lives the same way I want to live my life.”

That’s how David Cluff is learning His way.