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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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New and current students who missed St. Petersburg College’s open house Next Stop: SPC can now find videos of three info-sessions on SPC-TV and on-demand on SPC’s YouTube channel.

Overcome Math Anxiety, you can learn about what you can expect when going back to school and taking math classes again.

Explore Online Learning Tools, offers tips on how to navigate SPC’s ANGEL, MySPC and the online library database.

Balance School and Life, a panel of SPC students discuss challenges they have overcome while coming back to college and the successes they have achieved.

Catch full feature sessions broadcast throughout the day on SPC-TV. In addition to campus televisions, SPC-TV is broadcast on Bright House 620, WOW! 19 in Pinellas County and Verizon 47 throughout the Tampa Bay area. For more information, visit: www.spcollege.edu/spctv.

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Learn how to cope with math anxiety, hear from students about balancing school and everyday life and register for a chance to win an iPad mini at St. Petersburg College’s upcoming open house Next Stop: SPC.

The open house will be held on Thursday, June 20, from 2-7:30 p.m. at the EpiCenter.

Next Stop: SPC will give new and current students a glimpse into the college’s certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree offerings.

Participants can get help with:

  • Applying to college
  • Advising and registration
  • Academic programs
  • Financial aid

Next Stop: SPC also will include featured sessions on ways to:

  • Overcome math anxiety, 4 p.m.
  • Explore online learning tools, 5 p.m.
  • Balance school and life (panel discussion), 6 p.m.

Participants should be sure to attend for a chance to win an iPad mini. Follow SPC on Twitter to get more updates and information.

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SPC Week kicked off Monday, March 18, with students touring the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus and applying without paying an application fee.

The college’s week of enrollment events runs through Thursday, March 21, at five different campuses – St. Petersburg/Gibbs, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Downtown and Seminole. SPC’s $40 application is waived for students who apply at an event. The events run from 2 until 7 p.m.

Students will get a flavor of each campus location through tours and question and answer sessions with employees as well as a chance to see the various clubs and programs offered at each campus. Some campuses also have planned themed events and will be offering attendees chances to win Barnes & Noble gift cards.

On Tuesday, the Clearwater Campus will hold a Campus Expo at the new Ethics and Social Sciences building and offer refreshments at The Hard Drive Cafe.

SPC Week Events:

SPC Week participants should bring these items with them to apply for financial aid and/or get in-state tuition rates.

Two campuses will be holding events on Wednesday. Tarpon Springs will host a scavenger hunt tour with a pirate theme while SPC Downtown will offer a campus tour at its location in the heart of St. Petersburg. Both campuses will be holding gift card drawings.

SPC Week wraps up on Thursday at the Seminole Campus. Tours will include the state-of-the-art Digitorium and information about new construction coming later this year. Participants can meet with academic chairs from programs such as Entrepreneurship, Digital Arts, Media & Interactive Web Design, Environmental Science Technology, Hospitality & Tourism Management and Public Policy and Administration.

The Tampa Bay Times previewed SPC Week. “Would-be students can apply to St. Petersburg College without paying that pesky $40 application fee next week, but of course, there’s a catch: Applicants must attend one of four open house events at campuses throughout Pinellas County,” the newspaper reported.

See more pictures from the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus SPC Week event and later this week from other campuses on the college’s Facebook page.

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People looking to attend the college can apply during the upcoming SPC Week without paying the $40 application fee.

Starting March 18, SPC will be hosting enrollment events at five of its campus locations. The open house events will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. at St. Petersburg/Gibbs, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Downtown and Seminole. The $40 application fee will be waived for students who apply at an event.

SPC Week Events:

SPC Week participants should bring these items with them to apply for financial aid and/or get in-state tuition rates.

Want an email reminder for SPC Week?

Participants can tour the campuses, learn about clubs and campus life, plan their class schedule, get advice about what career is right for them and speak with a financial aid expert in addition to applying. Veterans will be able to meet with the college’s Veterans Services staff who can answer questions about their GI benefits.

Each of SPC’s campuses has its own feel, clubs and programs. That’s why each campus will be providing SPC Week participants with a variety of events and activities unique to that location.

• The St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus event will take place to a ’70s theme. Hourly tours will be offered, and attendees will be able to visit of the campus’ Music Industry Recording Arts (MIRA) studio and SPC’s MYRA radio station. Participants can stop by Retro Joe’s on the second floor of the library between noon and 2 p.m. for free coffee, snacks and root beer floats. They also can attend a MIRA performance at the campus’ Student Services building. During the event, there will be drawings for six Barnes & Noble $50 gift cards.

• At the Clearwater Campus, SPC Week participants will be able to explore the college’s various degrees and departments at a Campus Expo in the campus’ new Ethics and Social Sciences building. Sample refreshments will be provided by The Hard Drive Cafe. The campus tour will include stops at the Learning Resource Commons, Crossroads Gallery, the high-tech Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies and the Writing Studio.

• The Tarpon Springs Campus will host a scavenger hunt tour with a pirate theme during its SPC Week event. Attendees will be greeted with music, popcorn and snacks, then given a map of the campus. The scavenger hunt tour will include stops at the College of Education, Cafe Olympus, the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, the campus’ soccer fields and the Wellness Center. Applicants will be registered to win one of three $50 Barnes & Noble gift cards.

SPC Downtown will be offering a tour of its campus, located in the heart of St. Petersburg. It is housed with the SPC Downtown Arts Cultural Center and within walking distance of all of the area’s numerous restaurants, theaters and other cultural venues. For SPC Week, the campus has reached out to area GED programs to notify potential students about the opportunities available at SPC Downtown. A drawing for a Barnes & Noble gift card also will be held.

• Highlights from the Seminole Campus SPC Week event will include guided tours of the campus’ Learning Commons, specialized classrooms, TV Studio and state-of-the-art Digitorium, plus information about new construction coming in June 2013. The event also will include hourly drawings for gift cards and SPC Theme gifts. Participants will be able to meet with academic chairs and faculty to learn more about the campus’ programs, specifically:

  • Entrepreneurship Program
  • Digital Arts, Media & Interactive Web Design
  • Environmental Science Technology
  • Hospitality & Tourism Management
  • Public Policy and Administration

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Cynthia Jolliff-Johnson, Midtown Associate Provost and Heather Disler, SPC Downtown/Midtown Wellness Advisory Board member, organized the 1st Walk with the Provost event at SPC Midtown on Dec. 7.

While in the surrounding Midtown neighborhood they dropped off door hang tags and talked with residents about the upcoming Midtown Open House planned for Dec. 13. Representatives from Enrollment Management, Advising, Financial Aid, Career Services, Learning Resources and Student Life & Leadership will be on hand to answer students’ questions and help them enroll at SPC!

Read more about the walk on the SPC Wellness blog.

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