Archive for the ‘SPC’ Category

MTN-2015St. Petersburg College, nationally recognized for using data-driven strategies to increase student achievement, will host its second annual Moving the Needle Conference, Oct. 28-30 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First St. S, St Petersburg.

The event begins with registration at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, followed by a Welcome and Introduction at 2 p.m., a keynote address at 3:15 and a reception at 5:30 p.m. Panels, sessions and workshops continue from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, and from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.  The event is not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend.

The conference is designed for postsecondary leadership teams to engage in collaborative discussions and methods regarding the improved use of data leading to student success. More than 200 postsecondary educators from across the country are expected to attend.

St. Petersburg College has become a leader in using data to drive student success initiatives that can be monitored and adjusted in real-time. The college uses a robust business intelligence system that was designed in-house to enable faculty, staff and college leaders to make evidence-based decisions. For these efforts, SPC received a 2014 Florida College System Chancellor’s Best Practice Award and has been named a 2015 Leader College by Achieving the Dream. Additionally, college leaders have been invited to speak about SPC’s data-driven culture by the Aspen Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We have been using data to inform our work with students for several years and have seen some amazing successes,” said Dr. Jesse Coraggio, conference organizer and St. Petersburg College Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services. “We’re excited to share those proven best practices and collaborate with others on data-driven strategies that can benefit students in Florida and all across the country.”

Conference topics include:

  • Creating a responsive and ‘nimble’ organizational culture
  • Creating and employing data tools and dashboards
  • Building a data-driven culture
  • Using data to improve academic success
  • Employing high impact practices within student support services
  • Employing shared governance, responsibility and transparency practices

Two keynote panels will be held. The first, focusing on using data to improve student success will be facilitated by Dr. Mark Milliron, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning. Panelists are:

  • Dr. Chris Bustamante, President of Rio Salado College, Tempe, Ariz.
  • Dr. Paul Dosal, Vice-Provost of Student Services at the University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Laura Mercer, Director of Research, Analytics, and Reporting for Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio

Dr. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Associate for the Community College Research Center, will facilitate the second keynote panel comprised of:

  • Dr. Joyce Walsh-Portillo, Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Broward College, Fort Lauderdale
  • Wendi Dew, Assistant Vice-President of Teaching and Learning for Valencia College, Orlando
  • Sabrina Crawford, Executive Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at St. Petersburg College

For more information about the conference, including the full agenda, please visit the Moving the Needle website.

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Achieving the DreamAchieving the Dream today announced St. Petersburg College (SPC) earned Leader College distinction – a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps. St. Petersburg College has shown how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for families, communities, and the nation as a whole. SPC was the only college in Florida selected to receive the designation this year.

“It is a wonderful honor for St. Petersburg College to be selected by Achieving the Dream as a Leader College,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “The commitment – and success – that we have seen on behalf of our students reflects the real excellence of our faculty and staff. Making sure that all students can achieve their academic goals is our commitment.  When accomplishments such as ours are recognized, everyone feels good.”

The college was recognized for its efforts to narrow achievement gaps and improve student success rates. From Fall 2011 to Fall 2013, SPC saw course success rates (identified as an A, B or C grade) for First-Time-In-College (FTIC) African American students in all enrolled courses increase by 8 percentage points, while Hispanic students increased 9.1 percentage points. Additionally, St. Petersburg College saw increases in student persistence rates, particularly among minority FTIC students.

The college attributes those increases to its “College Experience,” a collegewide initiative comprised of five core student support measures: new student orientation; integrated academic and career advising; student learning plans; early alerts and student coaching system; and out of classroom supports. The initiative is bolstered through SPC’s business intelligence system, “Pulse BI,” and its robust dashboards. “Pulse BI,” which was designed in-house, allows faculty, staff and college leaders to monitor student data in real-time to make evidence-based decisions.

“Becoming a Leader College is very powerful and affirms the exceptional work and commitment of faculty and staff to their students’ success,” said Achieving the Dream Vice President for Community College Relations Cindy Lenhart. “St. Petersburg College is using evidence to make informed decisions that lead to significant institutional change.”

The 2015 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges are:


Bakersfield College

(Bakersfield, CA)

Kingsborough Community College

(Brooklyn, NY)

Bellingham Technical College

(Bellingham, WA)

Lorain County Community College

(Elyria, OH)

Century College

(White Bear Lake, MN)

Muskegon Community College

(Muskegon, MI)

College of Southern Nevada

(North Las Vegas, NV)

North Lake College

(Irving, TX)

Columbus State Community College

(Columbus, OH)

Paris Junior College

(Paris, TX)

Cumberland County College

(Vineland, NJ)

Southwestern Oregon Community College

(Coos Bay, OR)

Delta College

(University Center, MI)

St. Clair County Community College

(Port Huron, MI)

Gaston College

(Dallas, NC)

St. Petersburg College

(St. Petersburg, FL)

Grand Rapids Community College
(Grand Rapids, MI)
West Los Angeles College

(Culver City, CA)

Jefferson Community & Technical College (Louisville, KY)

The 2015 Leader Colleges are making strides in the national movement to increase student completion and close achievement gaps, demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Approach. With the guidance of Achieving the Dream Coaches, colleges not only systemically change the way they operate, but also implement key student supports that align with their overall policies and institutional systems, such as college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student-success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive, individualized advising.

Achieving the Dream grants Leader College designation for three-year cycles. After three years, institutions must undergo a recertification process to maintain Leader College status.

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CivitasSPC recently hosted its partners from Civitas Learning as the two groups work toward implementing software that will help improve student performance. The college began collaborating late last year with Civitas, the Austin, Texas-headquartered company that works with colleges to build and implement data analysis systems. Civitas currently partners with more than 50 colleges and universities across the country.

Dozens of SPC leaders are now trained in Civitas’ predictive analytics software. With the tool, administrators can drill-down into student performance and understand underlying factors that contribute to and impede student success.

The product, called Illume, will be used in conjunction with other student success initiatives that SPC has launched to increase student retention and graduation.

“St. Petersburg College is a prototypical pioneer college, particularly when it comes to the use of data to improve student learning and completion,” said Dr. Mark Milliron, Civitas Learning’s Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer. “They bring a tough-mindedness and mission focus to our partnership in analytics innovation, and we love that!”

Since 2012, the college has focused on preparing students to succeed in their courses and finish what they start through The College Experience. College administrators have relied on data and analytics to help improve the student experience and success rate, particularly among First-Time-in-College students.

“Illume is a fantastic and insightful persistence tool,” said Mathematics Dean Jimmy Chang, who is helping to spearhead the efforts of the Civitas partnership. “It is quite a complement to our existing systems, and effective use of them will help enhance our work with our students. This will lead to greater retention, persistence, success and ultimately completion.”

Through the partnership, SPC will launch the Degree Map software, giving students a richer, more intuitive online experience when planning and registering for classes. This new planning and registration system will use predictive analytics and leverage SPC’s academic pathways to provide students the best possible option for navigating through the curriculum.

During the day-long visit, project team members from SPC and Civitas discussed the status of the project and many of its details.

Other notable clients of Civitas include Florida International University, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, Penn State, University of Texas, Morehouse College and the University of Oklahoma.

In the photo above: Front row, left to right: Cheryl Gray, Senior Analyst/Programmer (SPC); Sharon Bobowski, Manager Programming & Support Student Systems (SPC); Amy Gregorich, Project Execution Manager (SPC); Bhavik Patel, PeopleSoft consultant; back row, left to right:  Alex Huckabee, Technical Project Manager (Civitas); Eva Christensen, Director of Admissions and Records (SPC); Rebecca Roman, Partner Success Manager (Civitas); Dan Nyser, Product Manager (Civitas); Kevin Chee, Engineering Manager, (Civitas); Kyle Greenan, Art Director (Civitas)

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SPC Workforce Institute

To help meet the demand for job training in north Pinellas County, the City of Oldsmar is partnering with the Workforce Institute at St. Petersburg College to open a training center at 127 State Street West. A ribbon cutting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the new center.

Classes will begin later in September at the newly named Workforce Institute at St. Petersburg College in Oldsmar, formerly the Oldsmar Senior Center.

“This is a birth of a great relationship between St. Petersburg College and the City,” stated Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis. “The educational opportunity for our residents, businesses and manufacturers afforded by this new location is unlimited.”

The new center will feature courses in manufacturing, business management and technology. Many will be offered through SPC’s Learn to Earn program, where participants can upgrade their job skills in specific software for as little as $25 in short-term courses. Industry-recognized certification classes will also be available. The goal is to bring training options to a specific area of the county, where local businesses have expressed the need to close skills gaps, and to expand educational opportunities for residents in north Pinellas.

“SPC is proud to be able to bring training close to home for individuals looking to advance their skill sets,” said Jim Connolly, Director of the Workforce Institute at St. Petersburg College.

Of the 13,400 people who work at 2,362 businesses in Oldsmar, more than 1,800 or 13.5% work in manufacturing, making it the third largest employment sector, according to the most recent data provided by Pinellas County Economic Development.

Only two other sectors are larger: professional, scientific and technology services employ more than 1,969 and administrative and support services employ 1,922.

“We’re excited about this new partnership, which will benefit the City and surrounding areas with a skilled workforce, and give students the ability to take classes tailored to meet the needs of these specific industries,” Connolly said.

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From left: Dr. Marcie Biddleman, Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board; Dr. Bill Law, SPC President; Maria Edmonds, Chair, Juvenile Welfare Board; Robert J. Fine, Jr., Chairman, SPC Board of Trustees.

From left: Dr. Marcie Biddleman, Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board; Dr. Bill Law, SPC President; Maria Edmonds, Chair, Juvenile Welfare Board; Robert J. Fine, Jr., Chairman, SPC Board of Trustees.

At St. Petersburg College’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, June 16, officials from SPC and the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County announced a new partnership to strengthen training for early childcare professionals and better prepare young learners.

jwb-logoOfficials with SPC’s College of Education and the SPC Foundation worked with the Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB) to develop the partnership, in which JWB is providing $54,000 to fund 30 scholarships for students to earn certificates through the college’s Early Childhood Education program. The intent is to improve school readiness rates and close achievement gaps by preparing local childcare workers to provide high quality early childhood education.

“This is an excellent opportunity and excellent demonstration of partnerships that we have going,” said Dr. Marcie Biddleman, Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board. “It’s special because it’s St Petersburg College. We have a lot of children in our early learning programs, and they will not get to St Petersburg College for their education if we can’t get them started right. Hopefully this will be a continuation of educated citizens that will make a difference here in Pinellas County.”

Scholarships will be available for childcare workers currently working 20 hours or more in licensed early childcare centers (residential or commercial) in Pinellas County (as identified by JWB). The scholarships will fund up to 12 credit hours for classes taken on the Clearwater Campus, to prepare the students toward a certificate in early childcare development, with specializations in Infants and Toddlers or Preschool. Both 12-hour certificates can be counted toward SPC’s Early Childhood Education A.S. degree.

“The benefits and the value of this partnership will extend far beyond the student recipients, as they go back to their workplace and better prepare our earliest learners,” said Frances Neu, Executive Director, SPC Foundation. “Then we’ll see the real benefits,” she said.

Former SPC Associate Provost Maria Edmonds, who now chairs the Juvenile Welfare Board, called the agreement her dream.

“It is my pleasure that we have this collaboration,” Edmonds said. “We need more of these partnerships in our community. One individual or one organization alone cannot do it, but together we can do a lot.”

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Recipients of St. Petersburg College’s Presidential Scholarship represent some of the best and brightest high school seniors in Pinellas County. This year, 64 students were selected as SPC 2015 Presidential Scholars and will receive a total of $455,000 in tuition scholarship awards.

The group had an average weighted GPA of 4.29, an average SAT score for Reading and Math of 1102 and an average ACT score of 25.

“These are some of the most exceptional students in Pinellas County and we are thrilled they have chosen to attend St. Petersburg College,” said SPC President Bill Law.

Presidential Scholarship Award winners from 2014-15 are honored at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus.

Presidential Scholarship Award winners from 2014-15 are honored at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus.

SPC’s Presidential Scholarship provides full tuition for 60 credit hours of study at St. Petersburg College. As Presidential Scholars, this select group of students is invited to join the President’s Scholars Counsel and will meet with President Law during their enrollment to gain an inside look at college operations and activities and share their perspectives on student affairs.

Presidential Scholarship recipients are selected annually based on merit and test scores. The program is open to Pinellas County residents who meet the following criteria:

  • High school seniors attending a school in Pinellas County and anticipating a May graduation with a standard high school diploma
  • Florida resident
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien or Dream Act eligible
  • Anticipate a weighted cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 at the end of the seventh semester of high school
  • Have taken the ACT/SAT Exams

Until last year, the Presidential Scholarship covered up to 15 credit hours per term for one year following high school graduation. The expanded credit hours covered under the new requirements are intended to help students complete a program of study, whether an associate degree for high school seniors or a bachelor’s degree for those who have already earned an associate through dual enrollment or Early College programs.

“St. Petersburg College offers a quality education that prepares students for personal and professional success, so we want to be their first choice,” said Frances Neu, Vice President for Institutional Advancement & Executive Director of the St. Petersburg College Foundation. “We want to be part of the conversation and in front of students as they are making their decisions about college. We are the most prudent choice there is.”

Since 2004, SPC has awarded more than $3.1 million in Presidential Scholarships. This cohort’s awards total $455,000.

Students apply for the Presidential Scholarship during the fall of their senior year in high school and have until January to submit an application.

Recipients, and the high schools they attend are:

  • Calvary Christian School: Nicholas Grosseibl
  • Clearwater High School: Rachel Ahrens, Rocy Danielle Barruel, Anisa Hasaj, Mediha Muhic, Jacie Parsons, Sofia Romero, Lori Rossi, and Melisa Trockels
  • Countryside High School: Laura Bednark, Amy Bhatt, Abigail Jensen, Thomas Labella, Ciara Ngin, and David Russell
  • Dixie Hollins High School: Racquel Cummings
  • Dunedin High School: Rebekah Brouillette and Erin Murphy-Johns
  • East Lake High School: Doyle Dempsey, Shea Duncan, Thomas Fisher, Lacey Kozlowski-Coward, Halle Kozlowski-Coward, and Brandon Yates
  • Indian Rocks Christian School: William Bechtel, Sophia Davis, Joshua Smith, Steven Turco, and Joseph Williams
  • Lakewood High School: Erica Wells
  • Largo High School: Anthony Del Vecchio, Rachel Kerwood, and Justine Murray
  • Northeast High School: Dylan Brooks, Kirsten Campbell, Dakota Cuthbertson, Sarina Martins, Marcos Perez Bencomo, Adrian Roldan, and Jacari Thompson
  • Osceola Fundamental High School: Abigail Beale, Alexis Deveaux, Samantha Iannotti, Anita Nguyen, Ethan Surprenant, and Magdaliene Vricos
  • Palm Harbor University High School: Austin Burnham, Ryland Carlin, and Alexis Gagliardotto
  • Pinellas County Homeschool: Shelby Henriksen, Emily Smith, and Samantha Witsey
  • Pinellas Park High School: Christian Bekas, Kristine Caraig, Casandra McDonald, Destiny Presley, and Louisa Slobodenko
  • Seminole High School: Etasa Evans, Zachary Hill, Leslie Laperriere, and Cheyanne Wallace
  • St. Petersburg Collegiate High School: Sonya McCabe
  • St. Petersburg High School: Jamie Montgomery
  • Tarpon Springs High School: Shanti Robinson

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Mark Strickland

Mark Strickland

Mark Strickland will join the Council of Campus Provosts as Interim Provost of the Seminole Campus for the 2015-16 year. This interim appointment provides an opportunity to address transitional matters. He officially begins his new role on June 1, 2015.

In his role as Associate Provost for the Downtown Campus, Mark has been a major contributor in the implementation and success of the College Experience, along with assisting and serving on numerous collegewide initiatives and committees. In addition to his contributions as an Associate Provost, he also has been the Athletic Director since 2007. Mark served in various leadership roles with the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA).

Mark joined St. Petersburg College in 2000 as a college recruiter. In 2003, he was promoted to coordinator of Enrollment Management and soon thereafter became the director. Mark left Enrollment Management in 2011 to become the Associate Provost at the Downtown Campus. In addition to Mark’s roles at SPC, he also has been an adjunct instructor for Barry University and the University of Tampa.

Mark’s upbringing as a military dependent allowed for him to live in multiple countries such as: Egypt, Italy, and Germany. In addition to his time overseas, Mark also lived in Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Virginia and Florida.

Mark settled in nicely in Florida, having graduated locally from Seminole High School. From there, Mark went on to earn an associate degree from St. Petersburg College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, and a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern. Mark is working towards earning a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership and earned several doctoral credits at Colorado State University.

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