St. Petersburg College will host a Meta Majors Summit on June 5 to bring together community college leaders from across the state to collaborate on processes and systems to implement meta majors and academic and career pathways. The summit, which is closed to the public but open to the media, is being hosted in conjunction with officials from Valencia College and Broward College, each of whom will be sharing how their institution is working with the pathways concept to improve student success.
The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 5 at the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College, SPC EpiCenter, 13805 58th St. N., Clearwater, and will feature panel discussions and break-out sessions.
The summit is funded by Student Success Statewide Impact funds through the Completion by Design grant provided to the Florida College System Foundation by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The convening will allow attendees from across the state to collaborate on best practices and innovative ways to use the concept as they discuss and analyze tangible and replicable ways of creating academic pathways, and cultivate relationships with other colleges.
“Meta majors and clear academic pathways take the guesswork out of degree requirements and course sequencing for our students. By offering our students clear-cut steps they can follow in their pursuit to degree completion, we’re removing roadblocks that have long challenged them,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “This is going to revolutionize the way students plan their course progression, giving them a much better chance at success.”
Nationally renowned educational expert Dr. Davis Jenkins will be the keynote speaker at the summit. Jenkins is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College and an Achieving the Dream Coach. Jenkins’ research and thinking have informed the development and spread of innovative approaches to improving student outcomes, including career pathways, contextualized adult technical bridge programs (such as Washington State’s I-BEST), and guided pathways to success (GPS). Jenkins is co-author with Thomas Bailey and Shanna Jaggars of Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success (Harvard University Press, 2015).
“Most students arrive at community college without clear goals for college and careers. Yet, most colleges do little to help them explore their options, choose a program of study, and develop a plan for completing it,” Jenkins said. “This meeting will bring together St. Petersburg College and other Florida state colleges that are at the forefront nationally of finding cost-effective ways to help students choose and enter academic programs quickly so that more are able to graduate faster and at a lower cost.”