Archive for the ‘Board of Trustees’ Category

Months of efforts to get students enrolled this fall at St. Petersburg College have paid off, as enrollment for the term is up 2.2 percent over Fall 2013. As of Monday, the first day of fall classes, 32,350 students were enrolled in 276,620 semester hours at SPC.

“We’re in good shape and I’m very glad to present these numbers because it’s been a few years since I’ve been able to report enrollment gains,” Patrick Rinard, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, told SPC’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday. “A number of our sister institutions across the state are reporting enrollment declines” the first day of classes.

At SPC, First-Time-In-College student enrollment was up 8.8 percent, with even stronger gains among minority FTIC students. Enrollment among FTIC African-American students was up 19.7 percent while FTIC Hispanic student enrollment was up 18.3 percent.

Bachelor’s degree programs saw a 6.7 percent increase in students, continuing a trend of several years. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree now make up 12.7 percent of overall enrollment at SPC, up from 9.4 percent in Fall 2009. The top bachelor’s degree programs at SPC by enrollment and student hours are nursing, business administration and education.

“We’re really proud of the data,” said Tonjua Williams, Senior Vice President for Student Services. “This would not have happened without changing the way we did business. We had to undo some of our processes and remove some obstacles to enrolling.”

“As an institution, it’s easy to give yourself kudos, but it’s much harder to look at yourself and say maybe we need to change some processes,” said BOT member Lauralee Westine. “This came from all of you and we are thankful.”

Rather than attend a required orientation and get a student ID, new students at SPC now see an advisor when they register for classes to make sure they are on track. Previously, students were also required to take a career assessment, apply for financial aid, activate their SPC OneCard and get their textbooks before they could register.

Other strategies implemented by college staff to increase enrollment included:

  • Enhanced marketing and publications, particularly on social media
  • Stronger student communications that are more personal and timely
  • A weekly Fall 2014 enrollment webinar among staff so enrollment efforts could be better coordinated and communicated

Read Full Post »

At the June Board of Trustees meeting, St. Petersburg College officials presented information on the college’s strategic priority of providing baccalaureate education and the success rates and demographics of those students. The typical SPC bachelor’s degree graduate is a 31-year-old female who works at least part-time and takes classes online.

This spring, the Florida Legislature barred all 28 Florida colleges from creating new bachelor’s degree programs for a year. Legislators want to review the rapid growth of such degree programs at state colleges, which produced 5,009 graduates in 2012-2013, nearly double the number from the previous two years.

Since 2001, state colleges have offered bachelor’s degrees to meet workforce needs, such as shortages of nurses and teachers. But lawmakers worry state colleges are competing with state universities. Today, 24 state colleges offer 175 bachelor’s degrees.

SPC began with three bachelor’s degrees, in nursing, education and information technology in 2001. It now offers 24. Since 2008, a total of 7,355 students have earned bachelor’s degrees from SPC, which averages 1,000 graduates a year. Baccalaureate students make up 12% of SPC’s enrollment and 20% of its graduates.

“Our baccalaureate students are not traditional students,” said Jesse Coraggio, Associate Vice President Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants. “When we talk about competition that may exist between the state college and the university, once you look at the data, there really is no competition. We’re talking about very different needs of students and very different student groups.”

Typically, bachelor’s degree students at SPC outperform lower division students “because they’ve already made it through that part of their academic career,” Coraggio said. They are more committed to graduating and earn their degrees in an average 6.7 semesters. Nearly 90% complete their program within three years. Their course success rates average 85%, compared to lower division course success rates of 74%.

They also earn more money. A report commissioned by the Legislature shows graduates with bachelor’s degrees earn about $18,000 more than those with associate degrees at the mid-point of their careers.

“These programs have been very instrumental in helping mid-career adults get a credential that will move them forward,” said SPC President Bill Law. “There is not a single program on that list that (University of South Florida) president Judy Genshaft did not sign off on in her office, and in fact most of them started in her office” as a way to take pressure off the university, he said.

BOT Chairman Deveron Gibbons called SPC’s bachelor’s degrees essential for those who cannot afford to attend a state university.

“I’m telling you right now, some of these folks would not be going to college at all if they had to travel, or they had to move,” Gibbons said. “They just wouldn’t be able to go through a full baccalaureate program. They couldn’t do it without all the things that are right here in this county that help them be successful.”

To learn more, view the presentation at the 37:20 point of the video.


Read Full Post »

Dr. Bill Law

Dr. Bill Law

St. Petersburg College President Bill Law, who completed his fourth year as college president earlier this month, received a contract extension through June 30, 2017 and an exemplary performance review from the SPC Board of Trustees on Tuesday, June 17.

Board Chair Deveron Gibbons praised Law’s leadership, expertise and creativity and his commitment to the college’s mission of promoting student success and enriching local communities through education, career development and self-discovery. Board members reviewed Law on leadership, diversity of initiatives, planning, budgeting and external relations.

“One of the principal charges given to Dr. Law at the start of his tenure was to refocus our efforts on the core mission of this institution,” said Gibbons. “Dr. Law has performed this portion of his responsibilities at the highest level of leadership. (SPC’s) College Experience project has significantly improved the classroom success of our students across the board.”

Law created The College Experience in 2012 to ensure students finish what they start and succeed. The five major components of The College Experience include:
·      Out-of-class support
·      Integrated career and academic advising
·      New student orientation
·      My Learning Plan (a roadmap for graduation)
·      Early alert and student coaching system

Since The College Experience launched, SPC students have shown significant academic improvements, but the greatest advances have been among African-American and Hispanic males. For African American males, success rates jumped from 42% in Spring 2012 to 58% this spring. For Hispanic males, the success rate rose from 53% to 68%.

Law holds weekly meetings with college staff to review progress reports and success metrics and communicates these goals throughout the college.

In his review, Gibbons also noted that Law has succeeded in the past year in:
·      Moving forward with the complex development of the Midtown Campus
·      Renewing SPC’s online education program
·      Formulating a student-focused response to major changes in the state guidelines for developmental education
·      Expanding the college’s commitments to workforce education across all levels of the college’s instructional mission.

“Our consistent, superior audit reviews, budgeting, and strategic planning, have been able to put into motion, a plan for future success,” Gibbons said. “President Law continues to be an effective spokesperson for the college in Tallahassee and our college continues to perform at a very high level in the key areas of postsecondary education policy.”


Board Chairman Deveron Gibbons

Board Chairman Deveron Gibbons

Board Chairman Deveron Gibbons read the following statement regarding the president’s review:

Earlier this month, Dr. Law will be completed his fourth year as president of St. Petersburg College. As you know, one of the responsibilities of this board is to perform an annual review and evaluation of his performance over the past year.

To that end, board members have had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Law individually, and to complete a comprehensive, written evaluation assessing his performance. The categories we reviewed included, but were not limited to: Leadership, Diversity Initiatives, Planning & Budgeting, Board Relations, and External Relations.

I have had an opportunity to review all of the evaluations, and am pleased to report that they are exemplary.

One of the principal charges given to Dr. Law at the start of his tenure was to refocus our efforts on the core mission of this institution. Dr. Law has performed this portion of his responsibilities at the highest level of leadership. The college’s College Experience project has significantly improved the classroom success of our students across the board.

His efforts included support for students beyond the classroom, improved systems to support intake, counseling, advising and student activities, renewing community and school district relationships, technology enhancements, facilities maintenance, remodeling and repair, and support and development for our faculty, administration and staff.

Our consistent, superior audit reviews, budgeting, and strategic planning, have been able to put into motion, a plan for future success. President Law continues to be an effective spokesperson for the college in Tallahassee and our college continues to perform at a very high level in the key areas of postsecondary education policy.

In the past year, Dr. Law has been successful in moving forward with the complex development of the Midtown Campus, the renewal of our online education program, and formulating a student-focused response to major changes in the state guidelines for developmental education. President Law continues to expand the college’s commitments to workforce education across all levels of our college’s instructional mission.

In view of Dr. Law’s superior performance, as chairman, I would like to move that we extend his employment contract an additional year, as we did last year at this time. This one year extension, would be added on to his existing 3 year contract, thereby extending his employment agreement with the college to June 30, 2017.

While our review is limited to the performance of the president, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the tireless efforts of all the faculty and staff. Dr. Law prepared a written summary of progress over the last year, and in it, he specifically mentioned many of you individually, and did so with high praise. Our faculty, administration and support staff do a lot of the ‘heavy lifting’, and we know that. While Dr. Law provides the leadership, expertise and creativity to set the plan in motion, our success would not occur without your continued commitment to SPC and our students. On behalf of this board, we thank you.

Read Full Post »

St. Petersburg College will be able to maintain its open door policy and commitment to student success while tuition remains unchanged.

At its May meeting the Board of Trustees approved an operating budget for the 2014-2015 year, calling for a freeze in tuition increases. Additional resources to support the college’s student success initiative were funded through the college’s existing budget.

“It’s our commitment to ensure that all students have the resources they need to be successful and to finish what they start. We uphold that commitment again this year by holding the line on our tuition,” said SPC President Dr. Bill Law.

SPC’s tuition was 53 percent less than state universities in the 2013-2014 year. The college will be able to support student access and success, and renew and refresh important instructional technologies. This approach will allow students to benefit from support beyond the classroom and ensure that all students have access to quality and affordable education.

Students can apply now online at spcollege.edu/apply.

Read Full Post »

The St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees met Tuesday, May 20, at the Midtown Center.

The full agenda, supplemental materials and meeting video, which is 2 hour, 20 minutes long, are available on the board’s website. The video also is included below.

Meeting highlights included:

Retirement proclamations for retiring Provost Conferlete Carney and Associate Provost Cynthia Jolliff-Johnson

Watch here: See the proclamation presentations at the 02:22 point of the video.

An update from the SPC Foundation

Watch here: See the presentation at the 15:30 point of the video.

Outcomes of the College Experience: Student Success initiative for Spring 2014

Watch here: See the presentation at the 26:03 point of the video.

A presentation on the streamlined admissions plan

Watch here: See the presentation at the 35:30 point of the video.

Approval of the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget, including tuition and fees

Watch here: See the presentation at the 44:06 point of the video.

A presentation about the expansion of International Education

Watch here: See the presentation at the 1:25:03 point of the video.

A presentation about the new Elite Educator program

Watch here: See the presentation at the 1:29:22 point of the video.

A discussion about issues relating to the lease of St. Petersburg Housing Authority property housing the Carter Woodson Museum

Watch here: See the discussion at the 1:34:55 point of the video.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be at 9 a.m. June 17 at the EpiCenter.



Read Full Post »

The Board of Trustees met Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the EpiCenter.

The full agenda, supplemental materials and meeting video, which is 1 hour, 55 minutes long, are available on the board’s website. The video also is included below.

Meeting highlights included:

Success rates improve for third straight semester

Jesse Coraggio, Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Grants, reported that initiatives to improve support for students appear to be paying off. Student success rates — the number of students who complete a course with an A, B or C — increased college-wide for the third semester in a row.

Achievement 2Even more exciting, Coraggio said, are the gains made by minority students, particularly African-American and Hispanic male students. The gap between the success of minority students and non-minority students is narrowing.

“That’s the achievement gap, and we’re starting to close it down,” he said.

Trustee Bridgette Bello asked if any one initiative is responsible for the gains.

Coraggio said he believes it is a cumulative effect of all the efforts of the College Experience: Student Success.

“I think it’s a synergy of things” including the five key areas of the College Experience, Coraggio said. “We’ve made some changes in policies as well to really set expectations for students at the front end…and we work with them through it. What happened before, we didn’t have policiess that had as much teeth and we didn’t have these conversations with students.”

The College Experience efforts, too, he said, creates a safety net for more students, identifying them right away if they struggle.

Learn more: Read the Fall 2013 Course Success Rates or watch this section of the meeting, which begins at the 26:23 mark.

Spring 2014 enrollment trends

Patrick Rinard, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, presented a look a enrollment for Spring. The number of students remained relatively steady over last spring, down less than 1 percent, though the number of semester hours students are taking is down about 1.5 percent.

Some of the noteworthy observations:

  • New students increased by 5.4 percent
  • Readmitted students increased 10.1 percent
  • Bachelor’s degree students increased by more than 7 percent
  • Developmental education enrollment decreased by 23 percent

As part of the presentation, too, Coraggio explained how deans are using enrollment data and trend data to build course schedules for 2014-15.

Learn more: Read the Spring 2014 Who’s Here Presentation or watch this section of the meeting, which begins at the 36:58 mark.

Developmental education reform update

Changes in state law, which went into effect this semester spring semester, deem students who graduated from a public Florida high school on or after 2007 college-ready. The placement and developmental education courses are not mandatory for those students.

As a result, almost 500 students are enrolled in college level courses this spring who likely would have been in developmental education courses previously.

“Hundreds of students we believe are misplaced this semester, by their own choice,” Dr. Law said. “The day of reckoning is coming over the horizon. Students who opted to go into courses where we didn’t think they will succeed, that reality is going to brush over them in the next couple of weeks. And I sustpect we will start seeing students saying, ‘How did we get in this mess?’ “

Dr. Anne Cooper, Senior Vice President for Instruction and Academic Programs, said faculty members are going to be watching especially closely for signs that students are struggling in entry-level courses this spring. “We are obviously very in tune to this issue,” she said. “The earlier we can identify those who are in need of more assistance, the better.”

Learn more: Read the Developmental Education Reform Update for Spring 2014 or watch this section of the meeting, which begins at the 46:55 mark.

Grants strong through first half of the fiscal year

GrantsJackie Skryd, Executive Director of Grants Development, gave a midterm report on the college’s grants program. So far this year, the college has recieved $8.5-million from a broad range of sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the Florida Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education and the Gates Foundation.

Applications are in the works for an additional $4-million in grants for the year.

Learn more: Read the details of the Grant Award Highlights or watch this section of the meeting, which begins at the 1:15:18 mark.

Read Full Post »

The St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees on Tuesday met for its annual strategic planning session, spending much of the morning working in small groups in the Collaborative Labs with faculty and staff to pinpoint expectations and priorities for the coming year.

Three major themes emerged:

  • Online education
  • Workforce development
  • Student recruitment and retention

Online education

The college is in the midst of an evaluation and revitalization program for online education programs.

Board members said the effort needs to include how ensure students are prepared for online courses; how students in online courses can be engaged and receive the same consistent instruction and support as in-person students; and how to use online education to grow the college’s enrollment.

“We have to not just increase the programming but be sure we have a quality program going forward,” board chairman Deveron Gibbons said.

Workforce development

Board members spent much of their time discussing the college’s role in developing the local workforce and in providing the training and skills in demand for both employers and employees.

Trustee Bridgette Bello said the college does a better job than most in meeting the needs of the workforce. “But we’re still not there,” she said. “We have companies leaving the area because they can’t find the talent they need.”

All the trustees said the college needs to partner with other industries in the way the nursing program has partnered with the local health care industry. It is hard to walk into a hospital or care facility in Pinellas County and find a nurse who wasn’t trained at SPC.

“We want to know how we can re-engineer what we did with the nursing program in other areas,” Gibbons said. “We are the folks who can provide the quality person for the workforce.”

Trustee Lauralee Westine said workforce education also needs to extend to “soft skills” graduates need to be successful employees.

“What are our success rates with job placement?” she asked. “I’d like to see more of a focus, to see us taking the lead in job placement. Once they get jobs, let’s listen to employers. What skills do our graduates need that they aren’t coming out with?”

Student recruitment and retention

The college has set a goal of increasing enrollment by 3 percent a year for the next three years. To reach that goal, the board members said, the college will need to continue refinements of marketing, recruitment and retention efforts.

Vice chairman Robert Fine said it is going to take concerted efforts to determine how to achieve enrollment growth.

“Where is that enrollment growth coming from,” he said. “Is that coming from online? We’ve really got to dig deep and break it down.”

As part of recruitment, board member Dale Oliver said, “We need to talk about our successes in placing people and people moving up in the companies who are SPC grads.”

For retention, he said, the college needs to take a cue from business. The No. 1 priority, he said, “is the job you do when somebody is here and how engaged you are in making them want to come back and get more.”

The quality of the engagement needs to be analyzed constantly and frequently, he said. That’s what successful businesses do, he said. They recognize that they cannot take the attitude that “we’ve got your business. We don’t need to follow up any more. We’re good.”

Watch and listen to the entire discussion, including presentations by staff.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 164 other followers