Archive for the ‘Gibbs’ Category

For the past six weeks, 100 recent high school graduates took classes at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater, Seminole, St. Petersburg/Gibbs and Tarpon Springs campuses as part of the annual Summer of Success program. They were all first-generation college students and represented area high schools from Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties.

Students who attended classes at St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus proudly show off their Summer of Success completion certificates.

Their college application fee? Free. Their tuition for the four-credit program? Free. Their textbooks for the classes? Completely free.

Summer of Success is part of the initiative for SPC’s Student Support Services Department, which helps first-generation and limited-income students graduate from college. This year, the featured classes for the program were SPC 1017—Introduction to Speech Communication (3 credits) and CGS 1070—Basic Computer and Information Literacy (1 credit). Career exploration and leadership opportunities, along with weekly career and business tours, rounded out this exciting opportunity for students.

Capping off the students’ educational summer was an awards ceremony held at the Seminole Campus Digitorium. They were recognized for their hard work and awarded completion certificates while their friends and family proudly watched. Ernest Hooper, assistant sports editor for the Tampa Bay Times, was also in attendance as a guest speaker. He gave an inspiring speech to commend the students on their dedication to their education, adding a few sage words of wisdom for them to remember along their academic journey.

Ernest Hooper, assistant sports editor for the Tampa Bay Times, was the guest speaker for the awards ceremony.

“Remember the people who believe in you,” Hooper advised. “Don’t be afraid to get help; don’t be afraid to reach out.”

With the successful completion of the Summer of Success program, students will continue their education at SPC this fall. They have already enrolled in classes and will build upon what they learned and experienced over the summer.

The 2019 Summer of Success program was administered and coordinated at the four participating campuses by Keith Windom, Clearwater Campus; Juan Herrera-Medina, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus; Benjamin Woods, Seminole Campus; and Jackie Addis, Tarpon Springs Campus.

To learn more about the objectives of Student Support Services and how it helps students succeed at SPC through programs like Summer of Success, please visit stpe.co/studentservices.

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The dog days of summer came to St. Petersburg College on Saturday, July 13 when volunteers from Southeastern Guide Dogs paid a visit to the SPC Planetarium at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, along with their canine companions.

Southeastern Guide Dogs breeds Labradors, golden retrievers, and a mix of the two called a goldador.

Southeastern has been operating in Florida since 1982, raising and training guide dogs for people with vision impairment, severe disabilities, mobility issues and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). To date, they have graduated more than 275 classes of guide dogs.

As part of training, volunteer puppy trainers select a different venue every month for their dogs to visit, exposing them to new environments, sites and situations. SPC’s star theater was chosen as an appropriate field trip for the canine trainees due to its theater seating, the various lights and sounds that are used during shows, and the darkness that every production is plunged into to mimic a night sky on the 24-foot domed ceiling. These are all sensory situations the pups may experience as full-time guide dogs.

Six dogs were in attendance at the July 13 planetarium show, each wearing a blue vest denoting their status as guides-in-training. All of them successfully sat through the 40-minute production without trouble. There were even a few wagging tails peeking out from under the seats just before the lights went down, and Dr. Craig Joseph—planetarium director and SPC’s resident astronomer—kicked off the show. He took viewers across the summer sky, exploring celestial formations like Cygnus the Swan and the lion constellation, Leo. The dogs showed off their impeccable training when not a single bark could be heard at the appearance of the big cat.

Dr. Craig Joseph (center) with two SGD volunteers and their guides-in-training outside of the SPC planetarium.

Joseph ended the show with a treat for the special guests, pointing out Canis Major, or, as the constellation is more commonly known, the Greater Dog. Canis Major contains the star Sirius—the brightest star in the sky and typically called the dog star—and is only visible in the summer sky in Florida. The Southeastern volunteers were delighted to learn that the expression “the dog days of summer” actually originated from the summer appearance of the canine constellation.

After the show, the dogs were awarded a little vest-free time, allowing them to enjoy ample petting and some well-deserved belly rubs. They will continue their training and, should they successfully complete the program, eventually be paired with owners who will benefit from their special training as guides. To learn more about Southeastern Guide Dogs, visit guidedogs.org.

Interested in seeing a show at the SPC planetarium? There are two free public shows on Friday nights at 7 and 8:15 p.m. when the college is in session. The star theater comfortably seats 46, and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Group reservations are welcome. Learn more about the planetarium by visiting spcollege.edu/planetarium.

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The Chick Corea Akoustic Band, the pioneering acoustic trio featuring legendary drummer Dave Weckl and master bassist John Patitucci, will commence their 2018 touring season with a rare, intimate show at St. Petersburg College’s Music Hall, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, on Saturday, January 13, with sets at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the “On Tour” tab at chickcorea.com.

Photo of Chick Corea

Corea, a 22-time Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master, formed the band with Weckl and Patitucci 30 years ago, and they’ve been redefining the music scene together ever since, as a trio and as the rhythmic backbone of Corea’s Elektric Band. And yet an appearance from the crowd-favorite Akoustic Band is still a rare experience for jazz fans. The trio’s 2018 tour will be its first in more than 20 years.

“Dave, John and myself are all excited about playing as a trio again! The Akoustic Band is back! There’s so much to explore – past, present and future. Yes, and the Adventure begins in St. Petersburg,” said Corea.

The 300-seat St. Petersburg College Music Hall invites the audience in close for a dynamic, thrilling performance of acoustic music by a band that perfected the art form. Expect the quintessential mix of brilliant Corea compositions, thrilling new takes on standards, and many more surprises.

The full Chick Corea Akoustic Band touring schedule, featuring a roster of shows throughout Europe and Australia, will be announced in early 2018.

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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.



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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.

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More than 60 people witnessed the groundbreaking for the Student Success Center on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at St. Petersburg College’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. College President Tonjua Williams gave opening remarks and welcomed faculty, students, and guests.


“It is a distinct honor and privilege to be here today at St. Petersburg College’s original site to celebrate the groundbreaking of our new St. Petersburg/Gibbs Student Success Center,” said Williams. “At St. Petersburg College, we believe student success is our purpose.”

SPC’s Board of Trustee’s Chair Nathan Stonecipher thanked everyone for attending and acknowledged the college’s dedication to student success with the new center. Stonecipher said he was particularly excited because Gibbs was his home campus when he attended SPC.

In closing, Provost Jamelle Conner gave remarks about the future center and thanked all who participated in the planning process.

The state-of-the-art center will replace the 80-year-old administration center, which was demolished due to its age. The new 48,000-square foot center will provide students with easy “one-stop” access to critical support services, such as:

  • Registration
  • Admission
  • Financial Aid
  • Testing
  • Advising
  • Accessibility Resources
  • Veterans’ Services
  • Career Center
  • Learning Resource

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College Visit Day

Pinellas County high school students can take a day off from classes on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to visit St. Petersburg College’s open house events. Open to high school juniors and seniors, these 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
  • Take a tour of our beautiful campuses
  • Learn about how to pay for college
  • Attend College 101 Seminars
  • Learn how to apply to SPC
  • Attend motivational seminars
  • Enjoy free refreshments

Ask for your official college visit letter to take back to your school as proof that you attended the event. Choose the campus nearest you:

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