Archive for September, 2009


Bill Frederick

      ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —  How do we know the Tampa Bay economy is beginning to turn around? One indicator might be the enrollment statistics in St. Petersburg College’s Management and Organizational Leadership (MOL four-year degree program, an offering designed to produce business leaders.
        Started in January 2008, the MOL program has become one of SPC’s fastest growing four-year degrees. Enrollment for the current fall semester is 449 students, up from just 197 students who enrolled in the fall 2008 semester. That’s a 128-percent increase.
        Of course, some of that increase might be attributed to normal growth as word of a new degree program gets around. But a better explanation might lie in the hopes and expectations of business-oriented people who want to be prepared for better jobs as a lethargic economy begins to show signs of life.
        “SPC’s Management and Organizational Leadership degree program is a rare program that offers management insight tailored to real-world opportunities,” said Shri Goyal, Dean of SPC’s College of Technology and Management. “The huge increase in enrollment we are seeing tells us that people who are interested in business management careers are having no trouble recognizing the program’s value.”
       Brian DiVita, Program Lead Faculty, added, “The combination of applied-learning techniques and academic rigor offers students the needed perspective to incorporate the business principles to solve everyday management problems.”
        Area business leaders saw that value long before the degree program was designed; they worked with SPC officials for many months to develop a set of degree tracks that would fill the area’s need for more and better-trained business executives. That planning process was well underway long before the economy went into its current decline.
      The result of all that preparation was a degree program with several different sub-plans;

  • Management and Organizational Leadership Focus
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability and Green Management
  • Not-for-Profit Management
  • Real Estate Management
  • Insurance Management

        Students can adjust their tracks to match any number of career paths, from corporate management to small-business entrepreneurial pursuits. Students who graduate with Management and Organizational Leadership degrees will be trained for careers in, among other things, management, supervision, human resources, training and development, industry/manufacturing, customer service and technical sales, to name just a few.
       “Business leaders in Tampa Bay told us there was a serious need locally for college-level business training, and we were glad to work with them to come up with academic tracks that serve those needs,” Goyal said. “It is no longer necessary for local people to leave Pinellas County to pursue a first-class business degree.”
       Many of the course offerings are available online, a tremendous advantage to students who are already employed and who need flexibility in their schedules.
       For more information about SPC’s Management and Organizational Leadership four-year degree program, visit http://www.spcollege.edu/bachelors/mgtorg.php?program=mgtorg

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Bill Frederick

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —   Most experts agree that these are not great times to be looking for employment in the banking industry. Bank valuations are down, the number of banks is declining, loans are down, mortgages are down, and many banks are shedding some of their less-profitable branches.
      So why is it that so many people are enrolling in St. Petersburg College’s four-year banking degree program?
     Generally, enrollments at SPC are up across the board, a not-unusual state of affairs in a down economy.  If people have trouble finding employment, many of them decide to use the time to bolster their education.
      The enrollment in SPC’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Banking program has grown has grown gradually and consistently since its inception in fall 2006. So why is there so much interest in banking education at a time when the banking industry overall is in anything but growth mode? Dr. Irv DeGraw, Associate Professor of Finance and Banking at SPC, says there are at least three reasons for the expansion in enrollment.
      “Students recognize the program will prepare them for real careers in the financial services industry and in government, and that it provides a first-hand opportunity to interact closely with leading financial executives,” he said. “The program also provides first-hand exposure to leading edge professional developments in the industry and in regulatory agencies.” 
     Kenneth P. Cherven, President and CEO of First Community Bank of America and chairman of SPC’s Banking Advisory Board, said the banking industry is in transition, and students are developing new skills to compete in the banking environment of the future.
     “SPC’s banking degree program is state-of-the-art,” Cherven said. “It is a well-designed, unique program that is 100% online, and it has an active Advisory Board made up of local bank CEOs.”
     Shri Goyal, Dean of SPC’s College of Technology and Management, pointed out that SPC’s banking degree program is about more than banking. Graduates leave the program qualified to work as bank managers, asset managers, credit analysts, financial analysts, financial planners, private wealth managers or as many other specialists.
      “Students see value in our program because they understand opportunities extend far beyond what is happening at any given moment in time,” Goyal said.
      While banks may be pulling back on the reins right now, Goyal said, banking industry managers know there are never enough well-trained people available for careers in banking. That’s why the banking industry in Florida has been so supportive of SPC’s banking degree program.
      Goyal said he expects SPC’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Banking program to continue to grow at a healthy rate.


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new oct flyer

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Community Colleges: To thine own self be true

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St. Petersburg College information session:


  • Learn more about associate and bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies and course offerings.
  • Learn about the post baccalaureate certificate in paralegal studies.
  • Ask questions about the paralegal field.
  • Speak to the dean and advisor.
  • Submit an application.

Clearwater campus
2465 Drew Street

NOV. 3
5:30 – 7 p.m.

For more information and to RSVP:


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Bill Frederick
St. Petersburg College
Search for new president of St. Petersburg College begins Sept. 21

 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Sept. 11, 2009) – St. Petersburg College will begin its search for a replacement for retiring President Carl M. Kuttler Jr. at a public forum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 in the first floor conference room at the EpiCenter, 13805 58th St. N., Largo.
Members of the college’s Board of Trustees will attend the forum.

About 20 invited guests from the college and the community have been asked to share their thoughts on the selection of a new president, and to suggest skills they believe the next president needs to possess to be successful.

After the guests speak, audience members will be invited to share their comments, concerns and suggestions regarding the selection. Comments will be limited to three minutes.

Those planning to attend who have a disability and are in need of an auxiliary aid or other assistance are requested to call 727-341-4772, ext. 3260, at least seven days before the meeting date so their needs can be accommodated.



St. Petersburg College was founded in 1927 as a two-year institution of higher learning.  Known then as St. Petersburg Junior College, it provided high-quality, fully-accredited programs with credits that were fully transferable to four-year institutions.  In 2001, the Florida Legislature passed legislation allowing the college to offer four-year degrees.  In response, the college dropped the word “junior” from its name and became St. Petersburg College.  Today, St. Petersburg College offers programs at learning sites in St. Petersburg, Seminole, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and elsewhere.  It also offers courses and degree programs online.

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BABM-Cover-L-09-2009BABM, the Bay Area Business magazine, has published an article entitled “Educating our financial future,” which discusses the current state of the banking industry.

The story contains comments by Irv DeGraw, Professor of Banking and Finance at St. Petersburg College. Read the story by clicking on the link:


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