St. Petersburg College celebrates the launch of Ignite, a guaranteed admission program into Florida A&M University (FAMU). The new program guarantees admission for eligible students to a specific program at FAMU after earning an associate degree from SPC.

SPC will host an information session from 4 – 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the SPC Midtown Community Room, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg.

“We are excited about this great partnership with one of the nation’s most esteemed HBCUs,” said SPC President Tonjua Williams. “This relationship allows us to expand educational opportunities for our students, who can start their college career as an SPC Titan and finish it as a FAMU Rattler.”

After completing an associate degree at SPC, eligible Ignite students will transfer to one of five programs at FAMU including:

  • Biology
  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Criminal Justice
  • Journalism

For more information about Ignite, visit why.spc.edu/ignite.




(L-R – SPC Board Member Deveron M. Gibbons, JPMorgan Chase VP State Government Relations Rick Mahler, SPC President Tonjua Williams, JPMorgan Chase Executive Director of Banking Technology Clayton Schnelker, JPMorgan Chase VP Commercial Banking Kyle Thomas, SPC Board Vice Chair Katherine E. Cole and SPC Board Member Bill Foster)

St. Petersburg College (SPC) has received a $250,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to develop a new program that will help local residents land jobs in Tampa Bay’s growing technology industry, while meeting the industry’s demand for skilled workers in this space.

In partnership with the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF), SPC will provide classroom and online training for students looking for careers in technology, create a database of support tools and develop a website that links students and educators directly to local employers looking to fill open positions.

The grant will also support the expansion of an intensive, technology skills training boot camp developed by local companies to give students real-world, hands-on experience. The program is expected to serve 125 students and 100 employers in the first year.

“This project is a true example of how education, industry and workforce can come together as a workforce ecosystem to address the critical challenge most industries face – finding and retaining top talent,” states Dr. Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College. “We are grateful to JPMorgan Chase for their investment in expanding strategies that are showing promise in overcoming this challenge.”

“As the nation’s second-fastest growing technology hub, life-changing careers are being created in Tampa Bay daily,” said Daniel James Scott, CEO of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. “This partnership will allow our region to match employees with both training and employers that will allow them to take full advantage of these careers.”

This grant is a part of JPMorgan Chase’s $325 million global initiative, New Skills at Work, to help people develop skills to compete for high-wage jobs and strengthen the economy.   The firm recently funded research by TBTF to understand the region’s demand for skilled tech workers.

“We want more people to share in the benefits of a growing economy by creating sustainable paths to careers that lead to prosperity and wealth for more individuals,” said Clay Schnelker, Executive Director, Banking Technology at JPMorgan Chase. “Tampa Bay is clearly becoming the state’s largest technology hub and our partnership with St. Petersburg College will help local residents have long, successful careers right here at home.”

To learn more about the program, contact Karen Bogues, Tampa Bay News Skills at Work Project Manager at Bogues.Karen@spcollege.edu or 727-302-6535.

St. Petersburg College will host free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) events at various campuses from Oct. 16-21. Attendees can explore programs and careers in STEM. The events include:

  • Women 2 STEM Symposium, 5-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16 at SPC Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St.

The symposium will highlight successful women in STEM fields, which include science, technology, engineering, and math. This event is FREE and open to the public. Guest speakers include:

  • Nicole Stott, Retired NASA Astronaut and SPC alumna
  • Lindsay Milbourne, FOX 13 Meteorologist
  • Laura Spence, K-12 STEM Specialist, Pinellas County Schools

For more information, call 727-398-8225, or email Kay Morgan at morgan.kay@spcollege.edu.

  • Tech Career Summit, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 at SPC St. Pete/Gibbs Campus, 6605 5th N.

This event will host local employers and workshop speakers tailored to the tech industry. For more information, email Rosaria Pipitone at pipitone.rosaria@spcollege.edu.

  • Biology Open House, 5-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18 at SPC Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St.

At the open house, attendees will learn about associate and bachelor programs, biology careers and internship opportunities, tour the lab and speak to advisors, faculty, and the dean. For more information, contact Tracy Garrett at 727-341-3172. Seating is limited. RSVP here.

  • Science Night, 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at SPC Tarpon Springs Campus, 600 Klosterman Rd.

This free event will give science enthusiasts of all ages a chance to participate in hands-on demonstrations and experiments. For more information, contact Michael Davis at davis.michael@spcollege.edu.

  • Fall STEM Festival, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at SPC Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St.

Participants can explore, enjoy and connect through STEM-related activities involving science, technology, engineering and math. There will be music, food, demonstrations, themed exhibits and prizes. Apply at the event and the college’s $40 application fee will be waived. Learn more about robotics and STEM through demonstrations and information sessions hosted by FIRST Lego League students. For more information, call 727-398-8225


SPC College Visit Day

Eligible Pinellas County seniors are invited to St. Petersburg College’s “College Visit Day” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, for open house events. These open house events count as an official college visit day. While events will vary slightly from campus to campus, students can:

  • Explore different majors – and the careers they lead to
  • Tour campuses
  • Learn how to pay for college
  • Attend College 101 Seminars
  • Learn how to apply to SPC

Students should ask for an official college visit letter to take back to their school as proof they attended the event. Campuses hosting College Visit Days are:

For more information, call 727-341-3400 or visit stpe.co/collegevisitdayfall17.



St. Petersburg Collegiate High School (SPCHS) at St. Petersburg College has been recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School National Blue Ribbon for 2017 by the U.S. Department of Education.

The award recognizes SPCHS for being among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

“I am immensely proud of our students and grateful for the dedicated St. Petersburg Collegiate High School and St. Petersburg College faculty and staff who guide and inspire our students to become scholars and leaders who achieve their goals,” said Starla Metz, Principal, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, launched in 1982, recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. Public and private schools may be nominated only once within a five-year period.

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told honorees during a livestreamed announcement.

At SPCHS, a public charter school governed by the SPC’s Board of Trustees, students are able to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an Associate in Arts (AA) degree. For the past six years, SPCHS’ high school graduation rate has been 100%, and the average AA graduation rate has been 97%.

Since its inception in 2004, SPCHS has earned an “A” rating from the state of Florida. In 2016, Newsweek named it the 55th best high school in America. Only one of 10 in Florida to make the list, SPCHS held the second ranking in the state.

St. Petersburg Collegiate High School and SPC will be honored at an awards ceremony on Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C.

With the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, St. Petersburg College will be offering in-state tuition rates to displaced students from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Houston area. Additionally, the college’s $40 application fee will be waived for these students.

On Sept. 26, Governor Rick Scott asked all Florida state colleges and universities to offer in-state tuition to any student who was displaced from their home in Puerto Rico. SPC has extended this offer to students in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Houston area.

“As Floridians, we know all too well the pain and anxiety that a destructive hurricane can cause. Our hearts are with all of the storm victims,” said SPC President Tonjua Williams. “At SPC, we are solution-oriented in helping students continue their education. Returning to class is a huge part of restoring a sense of normalcy and routine.”

Impacted students can contact St. Petersburg College’s Pre-Admissions team at 727-341-3400. Current students or those who have already applied, can contact Maria Drew at 727-341-3121 or Mary Ortiz at 727-341-3403.

St. Petersburg College (SPC) was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Impact by an Organization from Quality Matters (QM) Making a Difference for Student awards.

This award recognizes the college for implementing Quality Assurance for online programs, establishing faculty training and creating a cross-team approach for collaborative course design. This initiative has changed the college’s culture by placing a greater emphasis on student success. QM is a nonprofit, international organization that is recognized as a leader in quality assurance for online education.

“St. Petersburg College is honored to be selected for the Quality Matters ‘Making a Difference for Students’ award,” said President Tonjua Williams. “Helping students succeed is a core value at our institution, and that drives our passion for delivering high impact practices in the classroom and online.”

SPC received the award on Tuesday, Sept. 26 during the QM’s annual Pathways to Excellence conference in Fort Worth, TX.