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.
As a democracy’s college, Miami Dade College changes lives through accessible, high-quality teaching and learning experiences. The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community.