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summer16_spotlightSt. Petersburg College will hold its 132nd commencement ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Approximately 700 of the 1,806 fall graduates are expected to participate in the ceremonies.

The youngest graduate is 17 years old, the oldest is 68 years old and 17 graduates are over the age of 60. Sixty-seven percent of the graduates are female.

With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College will have awarded 158,775 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

SPC will award:

  • 800 Associate in Arts degrees
  • 370 Associate in Science degrees
  • 237 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees
  • 314 Bachelor of Science degrees
  • 85 certifications

Lindsey Velde and Samantha Spoto will address fellow graduates and guests during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony. Velde will earn an Associate in Arts and Spoto a Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.

Jacob Thompson and Tara Hunter-Dexter will address fellow graduates and guests during the 1 p.m. ceremony. Thompson is a dual enrollment student who’s earning an Associate in Science in Digital Arts, Media and Interactive Web Design. Dexter will earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Services Administration

featured-300x126The St. Petersburg College Model UN team participated in the Florida Model United Nations Conference in Gainesville on Oct. 21-22. The conference allowed for students at Florida colleges and universities to discuss global issues and propose solutions to those issues. All but one of the SPC team was new to Model United Nations. The group discussed issues such as:

  • Implementing International Year of the Pulses (IYP) 2016
  • Protecting Women and Minorities in Armed Conflict: The Case of Yazidis in Iraq
  • Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Combating Zika and Other Mosquito Viruses
  • Drugs and International Terrorism: Breaking the Links
  • Increasing Support Systems for Women in Agriculture

The group won the following awards:

  • The delegates representing Poland received Distinguished Delegation Award.
  • The delegates representing Japan received Honorable Delegation Award.
  • Maura Salac, representing Poland, received Outstanding Position Paper Award.

On Thursday, November 10, a team of 10 students will travel to Washington, DC, to participate in National Model United Nations Conference. The team will represent the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

ftc2SPC’s Southeastern Public Safety Institute received a perfect audit for the 2014-15 year. The results were released to the college this week. At the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission’s meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3, St. Petersburg College was named one of six training centers out of 40 that received a perfect audit in the preliminary report.

The audit reviews the trust fund monies allocated to the training center, as well as the compliance of all class and recruit files kept during this time. The commission thanked the center for its “cooperation and assistance.”

 

dr-law_preferred-photoAt this morning’s monthly Board of Trustees meeting, St. Petersburg College President Bill Law announced his resignation effective July 1, 2017.

“It’s been my pleasure to serve,” Law said.

In the coming weeks, the Board of Trustees will outline the process to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership. Faculty and staff were notified via email after the meeting.

“President Law has been instrumental in creating an environment at the College where student success is paramount,” said Board Chair Lauralee Westine. “While his leadership and friendship will be missed by our College community, our focus on student achievement will not waiver. We will be ever grateful for Dr. Law’s transformative dedication to St. Petersburg College.”

Law became St. Petersburg College’s sixth president on June 7, 2010. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from LeMoyne College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Design and Management of Postsecondary Education from Florida State University.

Law previously served as president of Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College and Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., and was the founding president of Montgomery College in suburban Houston. In his current and previous positions, Dr. Law has been well known as an advocate of economic and workforce development, student success and community outreach. He currently serves on multiple local, state and national boards.

His effort to increase student success has allowed him to work at state and national levels and has provided opportunities such as consulting with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Aspen Institute, providing expert testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, and serving as a member of the Florida Task Force on Community College Baccalaureate Education. Dr. Law also serves as the Co-Chair of the SPC Strategic Issues Council, the core team for the Achieving the Dream Initiative.

Law was a vocal champion of the creation of the Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center, which opened in St. Petersburg in August 2015 to high acclaim for its community focus and commitment to providing educational equity.

Under Law’s leadership and guidance, SPC was selected as one of only 30 community colleges in the nation to participate in the prestigious Pathways Project led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). He also ushered in The College Experience, which was awarded the Chancellor’s Best Practices Award in 2014 and recognized as a Model of Excellence by University Business magazine in 2015 for its effectiveness in improving student success rates, particularly among First-Time-In-College (FTIC) students and especially FTIC minority males.

During his tenure at St. Petersburg College, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Eta Rho chapter, named him the 2012 Citizen of the Year. In 2013, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured him in a report that was part of a series called The Idea Makers: Ten Tech Innovators.

Board Member Deveron M. Gibbons called Law “a strong, capable, knowledgeable leader.”

“We are a better college because you came here. I remember your interview, here on this campus and you promised us that you were going to get certain things done…and you’ve done that,” Gibbons said. “I appreciate you and all that you’ve done.”

In a letter he presented to Board Chair Westine, President Law said that his “six and one-half years here has been fulfilling and rewarding” and assured the Board he would do everything in his power “to facilitate the process of finding the next president.”

“I only have good feelings for the work we’ve accomplished,” Law said. “For all of us there’s a time to move on.”

best-vocational-trade-schoolsSt. Petersburg College has been recognized as one of the best online vocational trade schools in the nation by The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org). As a leading resource for higher education and college accreditation information, the site released its annual ranking for the 2016-2017 school year, honoring St. Petersburg College as the #6 Best Online Vocational Trade School in the Nation.

“We wanted to highlight schools like St. Petersburg College, who are striving for excellence in education,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “These colleges offer an exceptional educational experience, upholding rigorous accreditation standards and showing an overall commitment to maximizing student success.”

In order for universities to qualify for this ranking they must hold public or private not-for-profit status and carry institutional accreditation. Top schools are determined by using a value-based methodology that analyzes more than a dozen qualitative and quantitative data points.

“St. Petersburg College prides itself on providing excellent educational opportunities for students to advance in their professions or move to new careers,” said Dr. Anne Cooper, SPC Senior Vice President of Instruction and Academic Programs. “From accounting to Veterinary Technician, our students online have a clear path from academics to careers.”

For a complete list of online vocational trade schools for 2016-2017 and more information on the methodology used to rank each school, visit the following page:

http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/vocational-trade-school/online/

 

2017_bfv_collegesMilitary Times has announced its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings. St. Petersburg College was ranked among the top 30 four-year schools. SPC ranked highest as a community college that offers four-year degrees.

The eighth annual rankings factor in the results of Military Times’ comprehensive school-by-school survey of veteran and military student offerings and rates of academic achievement.

As with all Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. More than 500 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.

“We limit our list to encourage competition, and we genuinely hope this helps raise the bar for veterans on campus,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Best for Vets.

Military Times’ annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties; and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. These institutions were evaluated in several categories, with university culture and academic outcomes bearing the most weight.

Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

For the full Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings, and survey methodology, go to: www.militarytimes.com/bestforvets-colleges2017

The rankings will be published online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com as of Nov. 1; and will appear in full in a special magazine issue of Military Times on newsstands in mid-November. The release of this year’s list also marks Military Times’ inaugural declaration of the month of November as Veterans Month. The independently owned media company is celebrating veterans beyond Veterans Day, with 30 days of veteran-focused coverage.

Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings include Colleges, Career & Technical Colleges, Business Schools, Franchises, Employers, Law Enforcement and Places to Live.

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About Military Times

The Military Times digital platforms and print products are the trusted source for independent news and information for service members and their families. The military community relies on Army Times, Marine Corps Times, Navy Times and Air Force Times for reporting on everything important to their lives, including: pay, benefits, finance, education, health care, recreational resources, retirement, promotions, product reviews, and entertainment. Military Times is published by Sightline Media Group. To learn more, visit www.militarytimes.com.

About Sightline Media Group

Sightline Media Group, formerly Gannett Government Media, was established in 1940 as Army Times Publishing Company, an independent publishing company reporting on military news and information. Since then, the company has expanded into defense and government news, and has launched or acquired more than 13 periodicals and extended its brand globally into the online and broadcasting arenas. For more information, visit www.sightlinemediagroup.com.

 

fuse-color3_usfspThe University of South Florida System and seven regional Florida colleges celebrated the launch of FUSE, a new guaranteed admission program that creates a seamless and timely degree path for students to earn an Associate degree before transferring to any of the USF System institutions for a Bachelor’s degree. The new program differs from existing Florida programs that guarantee admission to a State University System school in that FUSE offers guaranteed admission to the USF System school and degree program of the student’s choosing. With more than 40 students in the initial cohort, Hillsborough Community College and St. Petersburg College are piloting the program, while the College of Central Florida, Pasco-Hernando State College, Polk State College, South Florida State College, and State College of Florida will be joining the program in the near future.

By synching courses and creating graduation pathways for select degrees, the participating institutions have ensured students will take the classes needed to seamlessly attain Associate and Bachelor’s degrees. Students who apply and are enrolled in the FUSE program are placed on an established graduation pathway/degree plan to ensure that courses taken apply to their Associate degree and successfully transfer towards a USF System school Bachelor’s degree. With academic advising provided from both institutions at their regional college, FUSE students will be ensured of the appropriate degree path, meeting all requirements, earning their Associate degree in a timely manner, and guaranteed admission to a USF System school.

Graduation pathway Bachelor’s degrees offered currently in the FUSE program include:

Additionally, to help ease the transition to USF, FUSE students will also be engaged in activities on their chosen USF System campus, including a specially designed orientation session at the outset of the program and ongoing general student involvement/social activities, while they are enrolled in their community colleges.

“After that first meeting with all those working on FUSE, I knew it was a program I needed to be in,” said David Martinez, Jr., a freshman at HCC and FUSE enrollee. “An advisor who knows my name will be helping me all the way through, priority registration, no wasted credits, access to USF student events—it was all too perfect to pass on.”

With climbing employer demand for employees with higher education, the FUSE program will help the Tampa Bay region and surrounding areas meet this need by producing more graduates with Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees.

“By 2020, 65 percent of Florida jobs will require a postsecondary degree or certificate, so we need to make sure students are getting the education and earning the degrees to fill those jobs,” said Laurie Meggesin, executive director, Florida College Access Network. “The FUSE program is another excellent step by USF in developing an employable workforce so critical to our state’s economy.”

Newly-released U.S. Census data shows that Florida has increased the percent of college-educated Floridians for the sixth year in a row with 39.9 % of working-age adults holding an associate’s degree or higher, but Florida still lags the national average of 40.9%.

“We are excited to offer students such a seamless transition from a regional Florida Community College System institution to USF,” said Ralph Wilcox, provost and senior vice president for the USF System. “FUSE students will come to us with their Associate’s degree, already familiar with an advisor, engaged in campus activities, and academically prepared for USF—I consider that a formula for Bachelor’s success! That’s a win for the student, USF, employers and the state of Florida.”

For more information about the FUSE program, visit here.