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Archive for the ‘enrollment’ 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

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St. Petersburg College is teaming up with the Seminole Community Library to host the Mid-Pinellas Comic Con (and Maker Con), a comic book and popular culture convention at the Seminole Community Library on Saturday, Aug. 9. The inaugural event is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

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From superheroes and gaming to technology demonstrations, there is a little something to bring out everyone’s inner geek. The fun-filled event features activities, discussion panels and displays that center around comics, gaming, costume and cosplay (costume play) competitions, sci-fi, anime, technology and more.

“This event will be especially attractive to Pinellas residents who may not attend other fan conventions because of the distance or cost,” said Chad Mairn, librarian and Innovation Lab Manager at the SPC Seminole Campus. He has been working closely with Library Director Mike Bryan and college officials to help plan and coordinate the event. He also has worked with Greg Plantamura from the TARDIS Riders in Pinellas group, who assisted with planning the successful Clearwater Library Comic Con last year.

Although this event is being held the weekend after the popular Tampa Bay Comic Con takes place in Tampa, Mairn said that the Mid-Pinellas Comic Con (and Maker Con) will help serve the community by providing more visibility to a variety of popular culture interests.

Representatives from SPC’s pre-admissions department and digital media program will be at the event to talk about the college and its digital media classes. The college offers classes that encompass a variety of topics including video game development and animation, digital imaging, storyboarding and other related topics.

Science and technology fans will get a chance to experience SPC’s new Innovation Lab, which houses a 3-D printer, robotic kits, littleBits synthesizer modules, Pro Tools, Raspberry Pi/Arduino kits, and other technologies. The lab is free and open to the public with a valid library or SPC student ID.

Discussion panels about costuming, horror entertainment, Doctor Who, feminism in comics and other favorite fan topics will be held throughout the day. Participants are invited to listen in as DC Comics artists and writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti discuss their work and experiences as industry professionals.

Busch Gardens® Tampa will join in the fun with a Howl-O-Scream discussion panel from 11 a.m. to noon. The Howl-O-Scream team will discuss the Florida’s top-rated Halloween event’s history and provide a behind-the-scenes look at how they make a terrorizing event so successful each year.

Gamers on the Edge, an organization of gamers who help raise money for good causes, has organized two gaming tournaments throughout the day to benefit All Children’s Hospital.

The Seminole Community Library at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus is located at 9200 113th St., Seminole. For more information, contact Chad Mairn at 727-394-6917.

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Fast-Track to FallOn July 21 at five campus locations throughout Pinellas County, St. Petersburg College will host Fast-Track to Fall events to help students finish enrollment requirements before the fall term begins.

During extended hours from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., college staff will be on hand to help students wrap up any outstanding items, including:

  • applying to SPC
  • submitting transcripts
  • taking the College Placement Test
  • registering for classes
  • paying tuition

“The purpose of these events is to let applicants know that they can get everything done in one visit,” said Patrick Rinard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services.

The admissions and registration processes recently changed so students can register quickly and more conveniently, Rinard said. Students now see an advisor when they register to make sure they are on track.

10502125_765178160199200_1561435716025633752_n“With all hands on deck, this day should significantly move the needle toward a fall enrollment increase,” Rinard said.

SPC locations hosting Fast-Track to Fall events include:

  • Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St., Clearwater
  • Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N, Seminole
  • SPC Downtown Center, 244 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg
  • St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg
  • Tarpon Springs Campus, 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs

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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.

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Enrollment at SPC declined this fall, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The college saw a 2.2 percent drop with 31,650 students enrolled in 272,903 semester hours. SPC President Bill Law said enrollment tends to drop when the economy rebounds and more adult students return to work.

“But Law said SPC had also been ‘complicit’ in the enrollment drop,” according to the article. “Last spring, for the first time, SPC sent out 2,000 probation letters to students who were not completing courses they’d signed up for. Typically, students were put on probation only for low grade-point averages, not based on course completion.”

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St. Petersburg College is hosting an Open House event on the Tarpon Springs Campus on Thursday, Aug. 1, 1-7 p.m.

tsopenhouseGet it done in one day

All the information you need to apply and enroll is in one convenient location. Learn how to become a SPC student:

Staff and faculty are waiting to serve you. Light refreshments served.

Get ready

Visit www.spcollege.edu/openhouse to:

  • RSVP for an event reminder
  • Print a list of documents to bring to event
  • Map link for directions

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Next Stop: SPC random drawing winner Joshua Chance

Approximately 150 people attended the college’s open house Next Stop: SPC, held at St. Petersburg College’s EpiCenter last month.

The June 20 event featured sessions with on overcoming math anxiety, online learning tools offered at SPC and a panel discussion with students on balancing school and life. The sessions and panel discussion are available on SPC-TV and the college’s YouTube channel.

The open house offered participants a chance to apply to SPC, meet with advising and registration staff, learn about academic programs and get help with financial aid.

Those who attended also were entered in a drawing for an iPad mini. Joshua Chance of Pinellas Park was the random winner.

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