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Archive for the ‘St. Petersburg College’ Category

St. Petersburg College (SPC) President Bill Law and multiple SPC students gathered on Tuesday, May 23 to speak about the impacts of budget cuts imposed by the Florida state Legislature.

Community-College-Budget-CutsThe Legislature’s 2017-18 budget includes a $25 million reduction in funding for the Florida College System’s 28 community colleges, which includes a budget reduction of $1.8 million in funding for SPC.

Reduced funding may result in fewer class offerings and a decrease in the scope of student support measures like tutoring and integrated career and academic advising. Both could cause a delay in students finishing their degrees. The move comes at a time when community college enrollment in Florida has dropped due to an improved economy, which has already caused a decrease in tuition revenue.

“Delaying that graduation makes life very difficult for everyone. When we are in the middle of a recession, enrollment peaks. When people can’t find jobs, they come back to college.” Law said. “When money is coming back to the state, it’s hard for us to understand why the state wouldn’t find a way to put a few dollars in the Florida College System and keep us whole – keep us moving forward and let us do the good work we do to serve Pinellas County.”

Law and students urged Florida Gov. Rick Scott to veto the budget cut.

“Governor Rick Scott should veto the budget items affecting community colleges and send it back to the Legislature to have $25 million in cuts for community colleges restored for the school year of 2017-18,” said Tracy Pham, 16, Vice President of the Student Government Association on the college’s Seminole Campus.

Students said they see an inequality in the funding provided to state universities. As the Legislature cut $25 million from community colleges, it is investing an additional $232 million into state universities in 2017-18.

All students cannot afford the cost of universities, said student Nathyn Montagano, 29. St. Petersburg College’s tuition is roughly half that of state universities in Florida.

“To ask us to put ourselves into six figures worth of debt before we even enter the workforce, I mean, that’s quite the burden you’re asking us to put on ourselves,” said Montagano, who serves as Parliamentarian of the Student Government Association on the Gibbs Campus.

SPC has worked diligently to increase student success rates through additional tutoring and integrated career and academic advising to ensure that students gain skills they need to find gainful employment.

“At St. Petersburg College, we’ve made major commitments to supporting our students in our learning support centers, where students can get tutoring and help outside of classes for virtually any subject that they study in,” Law said. “And our data clearly shows that students who are engaged in out-of-class support are more likely to be successful. Any reduction in funding that threatens those support systems is detrimental to students.”

Community-College-Budget-CutsSPC, which serves thousands of military veterans each year, is nationally recognized for its veterans’ services. Brandon Smith, 31, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and President of the Student Veteran’s Association, said he worries that the decreased funding may force the college to scale back its work with veterans who are eager to return to the workforce.

“We are a community college. We come out here and transition from the military and go to school and get a job in the community. Cutting funds is bad for business…If it’s bad for business, it’s bad for veterans,” Smith said. “From your EMS workers to policemen to trade jobs like plumbers, mechanics and anything else you need, you get them from a community college. And you want to cut that? I don’t think that’s a good idea at all.”

Fatma Hedeia, 55, President of the Student Government Association on SPC’s Clearwater Campus, said she feared a decrease in class offerings, which will negatively impact SPC’s large population of part-time college students who require access to flexible scheduling options in order to juggle additional demands at work and home. She implored Gov. Scott to send the budget back to the Legislature to restore the funding.

“Cutting the budget is really going to hurt a lot of us. Not just the high school kids coming to school, but the people who are older and trying to go back to school,” Hedeia said. “Governor Scott, you’ve got to veto this bill, send it back and make them redo it.”

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Approximately 1,400 of St. Petersburg College’s 1,982 Spring 2017 graduates participated in the college’s 133rd commencement ceremony on May 13 at Tropicana Field.

Spring 2017 Graduation

SPC President Bill Law welcomed guests and celebrated the accomplishments of the many students who were graduating with honors.

“Today we congratulate the students and families who have persevered to the graduation milestone,” Law said.

The Honorable George W. Greer was honored as the 2017 Outstanding Alumnus. Greer, a 1962 graduate of what was then St. Petersburg Junior College, served as a Circuit Court judge for 18 years before his retirement in 2010.

The youngest graduate was 17 years old, the oldest was 68 years old and 15 graduates were over the age of 60. Four graduates were also celebrating their birthdays. Sixty-eight percent of the graduates were female.

St. Petersburg College has awarded 162,262 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

This spring, SPC awarded:

  • 1,014 Associate in Arts degrees
  • 404 Associate in Science degrees
  • 215 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees
  • 268 Bachelor of Science degrees
  • 81 certifications

Theodore E. Martin, Jr., winner of the 2016-17 Apollo Award, and Alexis Gagliardotto, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, addressed their fellow graduates and guests.

Martin served as the Student Government Association Representative for Phi Theta Kappa and was also an active member of Men Achieving Excellence and the SPC Health and Fitness Club. Martin, who plans to continue his education wants to become an astronaut, received an associate degree in Engineering and currently has a 3.35 G.P.A.

“I know at 28 I’m off to a late start, but if the dream can still live in me, think of how many people I can inspire along the way,” Martin said.

Gagliardotto graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics and currently has a 4.0 G.P.A. She was the president of the SPC Orthotic and Prosthetic Student Society and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, as well as the Golden Key International Honor Society. Ms. Gagliardotto also was St. Petersburg College’s Honors College Ambassador for the Tarpon Springs campus and Early College Club Historian.

“SPC has been the training ground where I discovered my purpose in life and built the foundation of my career. Upon that foundation, I will continue to construct my future,” Gagliardotto said.

Gagliardotto thanked the faculty that helped her reach her goal.

“My professors were my ultimate mentors, wise and sage in their ways,” she said.

See more from graduation on the college’s Facebook page and on Tagboard.

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SPC Spring 2017 GraduationSt. Petersburg College will hold its 133rd commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 13 at Tropicana Field, One Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg College. Approximately 1,200 of the 1,982 spring graduates are expected to participate.

At the ceremony, the Honorable George W. Greer will be honored as the 2017 Outstanding Alumnus.

The youngest graduate is 17 years old, the oldest is 68 years old and 15 graduates are over the age of 60. Sixty-eight percent of the graduates are female.

With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College will have awarded 162,262 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

SPC will award:

  • 1,014 Associate in Arts degrees
  • 404 Associate in Science degrees
  • 215 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees
  • 268 Bachelor of Science degrees
  • 81 certifications

Theodore E. Martin, Jr., winner of the 2016-17 Apollo Award, and Alexis Gagliardotto, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, will address their fellow graduates and guests.

Martin served as the Student Government Association Representative for Phi Theta Kappa and was also an active member of Men Achieving Excellence and the SPC Health and Fitness Club. Mr. Martin will receive an Associate degree in Engineering and currently has a 3.35 G.P.A.

“I know at 28 I’m off to a late start, but if the dream can still live in me, think of how many people I can inspire along the way,” Martin said.

Gagliardotto will graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics and currently has a 4.0 G.P.A. She is the president of the SPC Orthotic and Prosthetic Student Society and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, as well as the Golden Key International Honor Society. Ms. Gagliardotto also was St. Petersburg College’s Honors College Ambassador for the Tarpon Springs campus and Early College Club Historian.

“SPC has been the training ground where I discovered my purpose in life and built the foundation of my career. Upon that foundation, I will continue to construct my future,” Gagliardotto said.

Graduating or know a graduate? Share your excitement and congratulations on social media with the college’s graduation graphics!

Spring 2017 By The Numbers

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Bridgette Bello

On, Monday, April 24, Gov. Rick Scott announced the re-appointment of Bridgette Bello as the newest St. Petersburg College Trustee. She will join the board alongside Chair Bill Foster, Vice-Chair Nathan Stonecipher, Trustee Deveron Gibbons and Trustee Katherine E. Cole.

Bello previously served on the board from 2013 to 2015, and in April 2016, she was recognized as a  Trustee Emeritus.

Bello is the President and Publisher of the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term that begins April 24, 2017 and ends May 31, 2019.

The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

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Katherine Cole

Recently Governor Scott announced the appointment of Katherine E. Cole as the newest St. Petersburg College Trustee.

Cole will join the board alongside Chair Bill Foster, Vice-Chair Nathan Stonecipher and Trustee Deveron Gibbons.

Cole, of Belleair, is an attorney with Hill Ward Henderson, where her practice primarily involves representing real estate owners in the development of commercial projects and residential subdivisions. Her practice areas also include land use and zoning, real estate acquisition and development and governmental relations.

Cole earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee in 1995, and her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law in 2007.

Cole has been an active community member in Pinellas County, and is currently the Chair-Elect for the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is also a former member of both the City of Clearwater Business Task Force and the Charter Review Committees for the City of Clearwater and Pinellas County.

Additionally, Cole currently serves on the Board of Directors for Morton Plant Mease Hospital. Since 2009 Cole has served on the Omelette Party committee, an annual fundraising event for The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation. In 2013, Cole co-chaired the event.

Cole fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term that began March 24 and ends May 31, 2017.

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16797583_10155694708648368_4069859960415698559_oSt. Petersburg College will host Explore SPC week from 2-7 p.m. March 27-30. Attendees can explore campuses and degrees and training programs. The $40 application fee will be waived.

SPC’s faculty and staff, including the college’s nationally certified advisors will be on hand to assist with career choices as well as completing the FAFSA application.

The event will be held:

  • Monday, March 27, Midtown Campus, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg.
  • Tuesday, March 28, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N.
  • Wednesday, March 29, Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St. and Downtown Campus, 244 Second Ave. N.
  • Thursday, March 30, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N, and Tarpon Springs Campus, 600 Klosterman Rd.

During Explore SPC week, attendees can learn more about FUSE, a new partnership with the University of South Florida System, which guarantees admission into certain bachelor’s degree programs at a USF System institution for eligible students who first complete their associate degree at SPC within three years and with the requisite grade point average.

FUSE advisors will be on hand during Explore SPC at all campuses and will also hold the following info sessions:

  • 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 27, Midtown Center, Lobby.
  • 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, SS Building.
  • 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, Downtown Center, Lobby.
  • 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, Clearwater Campus, ES Building.
  • 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, Seminole Campus, UPC Building.
  • 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, Tarpon Springs Campus, Lyceum Building.

For more information, visit spc.edu/explore.

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tarpon-springs-community-resource-fairSt. Petersburg College’s Tarpon Springs Campus will host its first Annual Community Resource Fair on Feb. 25.

There will be more than 30 vendors providing employment assistance, financial aid workshops and children’s activities. Representatives from Pinellas County Veterans Services as well as Social and Human Services will also be in attendance.

The college will waive the application fee for individuals who complete an SPC application this Saturday.

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art will offer free admission to the museum.  There will be lots of giveaways including $1,200 worth of gift cards, donated by the Tarpon Springs Rotary. In addition, there will be refreshments at the event as well as complimentary shuttles provided by Friendly Kia.

The event, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., will be held in the Agora Courtyard, at 600 Klosterman Rd., Tarpon Springs. The fair will include:

  • Waiver of SPC’s $40 application fee
  • Employee assistance table
  • Financial Aid workshops
  • Children’s activities
  • Financial services  
  • Health Care services
  • Social and Human services
  • School supply refresh/book giveaway for students

For more information, contact Coleen Ghozali at ghozali.colleen@spcollege.edu or 727-712-5477.

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