Archive for the ‘St. Petersburg College’ Category

St. Petersburg College has partnered with Clearwater Business SPARK as its 10th and newest partner.

St. Petersburg College will work with Clearwater Business SPARK to provide business-related services, resources and programs, including its Workforce Institute and Collaborative Labs.

“Welcoming St. Petersburg College as a partner of the Clearwater Business SPARK network is very exciting. The college brings an array of training opportunities for individuals and businesses, as well as the impressive Collaborative Labs offering facilitated strategic planning sessions that make real impacts on organizations. We are proud to partner with St. Petersburg College to support our community,” said Audra Aja, Clearwater Business SPARK Program Coordinator.

The Workforce Institute offers training, continuing education, industry certifications, licensures and career pathways that are affordable and accessible to goal-oriented individuals and businesses committed to accelerated professional growth.

The Collaborative Labs designs and executes strategic-planning sessions and facilitates organizational problem solving using a unique approach that incorporates interactive technology, strength-based techniques and real-time documentation to develop an action plan that produces tangible results.

Recently, St. Petersburg College assisted Clearwater Business SPARK facilitate a strategic planning session as a way to launch its partnership.

“St. Petersburg College is pleased to join in partnership with Clearwater Business SPARK to offer an expanded toolkit to support the success of businesses and entrepreneurs, including accelerated training and industry certifications, strategic planning and collaborative cohorts, and innovative venues and work spaces to get it done and get ahead,” said Andrea Henning, executive director of the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College.

Launched in 2016, Clearwater Business SPARK is a network of partners who support local small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business. St. Petersburg College joins the partnership network that includes the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Pinellas County SCORE, the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development, the city of Clearwater’s Economic Development and Housing Department, Clearwater Public Library System, Clearwater Community Redevelopment Agency, Prospera, formerly Hispanic Business Initiative Fund (HBIF), and Florida Business Incubator, formerly known as TAFFIE.

Clearwater Business SPARK provides business programs and services including business planning and coaching, educational programs, networking opportunities, guidance for doing business with the federal government and international markets and incubator services. Clearwater Business SPARK also offers access to databases and market research tools, a variety of co-working, meeting and training spaces and hands-on tools and activities at Studios@Main, a unique makerspace located within the Clearwater Main Library.

To learn more about Clearwater Business SPARK and its partners, visit ClearwaterBusinessSPARK.com or contact Audra Aja, Clearwater Business SPARK program coordinator, at (727) 443-0217 or email at info@ClearwaterBusinessSPARK.com.

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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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The Workforce Institute is the non-degree, professional training and continuing education department of St. Petersburg College. From a Certified Phlebotomy program to project management certifications to how to fly a drone,  the Workforce Institute has it all!

Save your seat for an upcoming Workforce Institute information session to learn more! All are welcome.

About the Workforce Institute

Logo for SPC Workforce InstituteAt SPC’s Workforce Institute, we pride ourselves in offering a trusted suite of services and options that are affordable and accessible to both individuals and organizations.

For goal-oriented individuals and businesses committed to accelerated professional growth, the Workforce Institute offers training, continuing education, industry certifications, licensures, and career pathways. Our industry experts teach you the skills that local employers are looking for so you can get ahead. Learning takes place in a motivating environment, and training can be completed in as little as a few days.

We offer training in:

List of Highlighted SPC Workforce Institute ProgramsCertifications and Training

Here are some of the things you can achieve through a Workforce Institute program:

  • Finish in as little as a few hours or opt for more extensive training
  • Brush up on current skills
  • Earn Continuing Education Units (CEU)/Professional Development Units (PDU)
  • Take an exam prep course for and in-demand certifications
  • Learn a new language through one of our many language courses
  • Continue into a degree program or just take the non-degree course!

Corporate and Group Training

Did you know that any of our training programs can be offered in a group setting for your organization, association, or company through our Corporate and Group Training program? Contact us for more information.

We want to hear from you

Looking for more information on one of our programs? Don’t see a program listed that you may be interested in? Let us know! We’re always evolving and adding new programs. We’re here to help answer any questions about programs, help you decide what would be best for your career, and walk you through funding options. Give us a call at 727-341-4445, email us at Workforce@spcollege.edu or visit us online.

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Bridge to BaccalaureateA new “bridge” is coming to Tampa Bay. However, instead of carrying harried commuters back and forth, this bridge will help underrepresented minority students move into high-demand baccalaureate programs in STEM.

The Tampa Bay Bridge to the Baccalaureate (TB-B2B), a partnership among St. Petersburg College (SPC), Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, under its Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, to increase the number of minority students transferring into a STEM program at the University of South Florida (USF).

The three colleges typically see more than 400 of their minority students transfer into STEM programs at a four-year university every year. The partnering institutions will aim to boost that number by 50 percent over the three-year grant period.

“We are so honored to be a part of this partnership, which will give underrepresented, minority students opportunities to pursue baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields leading to high-wage jobs that can help end generational cycles of poverty,” said Dr. Tonjua Williams, SPC President. “We are grateful to the National Science Foundation and our educational partners for their commitment to equity and diversity in STEM fields – a commitment that is crucial to meeting the ever-evolving needs of the 21st century workforce.”

A cohesive system of new activities, peer and faculty connections and academic supports will help the TB-B2B partner schools move the needle for STEM minority student engagement. The grant also will leverage existing connections through USF’s FUSE initiative, a guaranteed admissions program for students who complete their associate degree at a participating Florida College System institution.

“By preparing and retaining an underutilized talent pool for STEM careers, the LSAMP TB-B2B will have a significant impact on our local, state, and national workforce,” said Bernard Batson, Director of Diversity and inclusion Programs at the USF College of Engineering. “We look forward to partnering with the program leaders and faculty on new efforts that will increase access and broaden participation of underserved students in STEM.”

SPC will serve as the lead of TB-B2B. Faculty and administrators from each of the partner institutions will work collaboratively with local school districts, STEM industry representatives and other educational institutions to ensure underrepresented minority students have the support, engagement and sense of “self” necessary to successfully pursue and complete a baccalaureate education in STEM.

“This Bridge to the Baccalaureate grant exemplifies the great partnerships that exist among our educational institutions in the Tampa Bay area,” said Dr. Jesse Coraggio, Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services at SPC. “With this grant opportunity from the National Science Foundation, we can open doors and provide opportunity for underserved students by building line-of-sight pathways to baccalaureate STEM programs at our local State Colleges and the University of South Florida System schools.”

TB-B2B students will engage in undergraduate research and hands-on experiential learning opportunities, increasing their research knowledge base and exploration of STEM interests and careers. A four-year STEM degree leads to higher wages, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. STEM workers earn about 30 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts do.

“The Tampa Bay Bridge to the Baccalaureate Alliance positions HCC and its partners to expand and enhance our efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate more students from underrepresented minorities with STEM degrees,” said James Wysong, Dean of Mathematics and Sciences at HCC. “A diverse scientific and technical workforce is critical to America’s future, and this alliance supports that goal.”

“We are delighted that the National Science Foundation has funded this Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation consortium grant. In our region and throughout the state, there is a critical need for a well-educated workforce with degrees in a STEM field,” said SCF President Dr. Carol Probstfeld. “In collaboration with our alliance partners, St. Petersburg College and Hillsborough Community College, this grant will help SCF to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minority students that are pursuing a STEM bachelor’s degree.”

Tampa Bay is fast becoming the epicenter of STEM industry and innovation within the state of Florida, and currently ranks as the state’s leading technology hub, according to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. Enterprise Florida estimates that 15 out of the 20 fastest growing job fields will require a STEM education, and projects the need for 120,000 new STEM workers by 2018 alone.

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The MLK Day of Service Advisory Board, in collaboration with St. Petersburg College, has awarded approximately $150,000 to local organizations for service activities scheduled in connection with the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday on Jan. 15.

With the help of State Senator, Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, this is the sixth year St. Petersburg College has received funds from the Florida Legislature for the St. Petersburg MLK Day of Service.  These projects will involve 56 nonprofits, organizations and public agencies as part of the MLK Day of Service Advisory Board’s annual effort to transform the holiday into “A Day On, Not a Day Off.”

The MLK Day of Service Advisory Board provides opportunities for groups, businesses, and people of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities through a variety of one day and long-term initiatives.  Working with nonprofits, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies, the MLK Day of Service Advisory Board engages neighbors in meeting critical needs in education, health, the environment, public safety, economic opportunity, neighborhood revitalization and other areas.

The organizations and projects receiving funds are:

9-11 Angels Kid Fire Safety & ID
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Zeta Upsilon Omega Chapter Childhood Hunger Awareness Snack Pack Project
American Stage Speak the Dream
ANSO of Tampa Bay Salvation Army Sallie House Refresh
ATL Barbershop / Salon  ATL’s Unity For Our Community
Bartlett Park Community Garden-Garden Florida Disaster Relief,  Safety and a Garden of Hope
Caring For Girls Academy Inc. Hurricane Preparedness Health Fair
Christ Gospel Church Read aloud…& Be Proud…
Community Action Stops Abuse, Inc. (CASA) Peace Party
Community Development and Training

Center, Inc.

New I.M.A.G.E. Project
Community EFX, Inc. Interfaith Bus Tour
Cross and Anvil Human Services, Inc. Helping the Homeless
Disston Academy – Pinellas County Schools CLEARED Vision
Dog Tag Heroes, Inc. Fresh Start
Dyvine Appointments, LLC Targeting the World of Hair Loss-Alopecia Awareness Conference and Hair Show
Empath Health Gospel Health Brunch
Epsilon Beta Sigma – Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. Power Kids – Knocking Out Childhood Obsesity
Eta Rho Educational Services / Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Midtown Neighborhood Family Support Care Packages
Everyday Hero Project Restocking Food Pantries
Ford Christian Academy Crossing the Finish Line
Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association Reclaiming Our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice A Reality? – Part 2
Greater St. Petersburg Business Association 16th Street Beautification
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, Inc. Neighborhood Revitalization
Hair By Ahsile Giving Back to the Needy
High Profile Motivational Services, Inc. Second Annual Transformed: Community Unity Day
HIV/AIDS Action Committee HIV/AIDS Awareness Project & Education
Keep Hope Alive, Inc. Fibromyalgia Awareness Seminar
KH Edutainment Finish Strong! Reboot Camp
Kidzonomics® Mastering the Socioeconomic of Elements of Success
Knights of Knowledge Chess Club of St. Pete, Inc. Community Chess Program
Lakeview Presbyterian Church Healthy Food and Healthy Relationships With Our Neighbors
Legacy-56, Inc. Read to Remember/Remember to Read
MayMay & Katie’ Rescue Angels Inc. Eat Better, Feel Better
Mercy Keepers, Inc. Knapsacks of Nourishment
Midtown Celebrity Club, Inc. Know Your Rights! Protecting Yourself When Encountering Law Enforcement
Mt. Zion Human Services Program Sistahs Surviving Breast Cancer It’s A Family Affair Wellness Festival
Paulette’s Place, LLC Art of the Streets: Empowering Homelessness Awareness through Artistic Expression
Phoenix UPLIFT Inc Family Fire Safety Information Day
Pinellas Opportunity Council, Inc. Disaster Preparedness
Pinnacle Financial Restoration, LLC Credit Counseling and Financial Literacy Workshop
Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg The Law & You: Hoops & Video Game Competition
Second Chance Life Skills Inspired Service – Spread The Love


Shihan School of Survival MLK Day Youth Education, Health and Safety Project
Sistahs of Compassion Supporting Cancer Survivors Inc. Give Back to the Community Health Fair
Sofia Forte’s Catering Wholesome People
Sojourner Truth Center, Inc. Urban Agriculture Revival
St. Petersburg City Theatre Families Feeding the Hungry
St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. Empowering Today’s Family Through the Education of Art and Expressive Reading
St. Petersburg Pregnancy Center Inc dba The Next STEPP Center Infant Homes – Safe and Sound
The Gathering of Women Inc. MLK the African Journey/Stand Up For The Homeless
The Harvest is Ripe Outreach Center, Inc God’s People Helping All People
The Kind Mouse Productions, Inc. A Day Fed, Not A Day Hungry
Visionnaire Creations LLC Drum Major for Justice In the Park
Workforce Solutions of Tampabay, Inc. Employability Skills Seminar
Youth Un-Leashed Dress For Success
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority- Zeta Gamma Zeta Chapter Family Fun Night at COSA


These projects include delivering meals to the needy, refurbishing homes and community gardens, collecting food and clothing, signing up mentors, health education, promoting nonviolence and more. The MLK day of Service shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to unite our community. The MLK Day of Service provides each of us with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen our communities.

Go to www.spcollege.edu/mlkservice to find out how to get involved with service projects on MLK Day and learn more about the MLK Day of Service in St. Petersburg.

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Hundreds of people became St. Petersburg College’s newest alumni after graduating in the college’s 135th commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 9.

More than 1,500 graduates earned degrees and certificates this fall term at SPC. Among the top awards were bachelor’s degrees in nursing, management and organizational leadership, and business administration. In addition, the college awarded more than 600 associate degrees.

Photo of SPC President Tonjua Williams and Fall 2017 graduates

“Today, we congratulate our students and their families who have persevered to the graduation milestone,” SPC President Tonjua Williams said to the crowd. “You inspire us with your determination. Today we celebrate your accomplishments.”

Graduates share their stories

Four student speakers addressed their fellow graduates and relatives with messages of perseverance, courage, and hope that drew cheers from their audiences.

Jay Patrick came to SPC as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Graduating with a perfect GPA and an Associate in Arts degree, Patrick talked to those attending the morning graduation ceremony about the camaraderie he found with other students very different from himself and the strength he found in that diversity.

“I learned more about honor then I ever could have imagined from fellow students who stood by me through all the struggles college life would ever have to offer. I learned more about courage then I ever thought possible from the visually impaired student who took on any assignment or challenge with more devotion then I could ever muster. Last but not least I learned the true meaning of commitment from the single mother, who despite working full time, would show up to classes with the hope of bettering the future for her and her child,” Patrick said. “Individuals brought together from all walks of life can accomplish anything. Their diversity is their strength and not their weakness. So today graduates remember, that while we may all look different and maybe even talk different, today we are all wearing the same shade of blue.”

Women on the Way member Rekeytah Hassan received her bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Leadership. “Be courageous while pursuing your dreams, and do not let anyone or any circumstance or any perceived disadvantage get in your way!” said Hassan, a single mother of three girls who she thanked for their love and support. “They have been involved with me every step of they way and have attended many late night and weekend study sessions with my teammates and I. They are the reason why I made this commitment and challenged myself to see it through.

“My story is testament that nothing is more powerful than a made up mind,” she said. “Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for but rather something to be achieved.”

At the afternoon ceremony, graduate Antoine Sullivan said becoming a college student helped him to achieve his dream to become successful. And the assistance he found at SPC allowed him to realize his goals. Awarded his associate’s degree, he served as president of the college’s Men Achieving Excellence program and as a member of student government.

“Many of us believed we were not smart enough to succeed in college or may have been told that we would never graduate or earn a degree. However, with the love, support, and opportunity presented here at St. Petersburg College, we are graduating today,” Sullivan said. “The truth is, to become a successful student, you must be willing to sacrifice the now for the future. St. Petersburg College has given a small town kid a chance to become a success story.”

The day’s last speaker, graduate Michele Marks, shared the story of her 4-year-old son, who was diagnosed with autism. Marks, awarded her bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology, said she focused intensely on making sure he would succeed, through consultations with doctors and specialists, a plan for his progress, and the support of her family.

“As I reflected on my graduation, I realized that there was correlation between my success completing my bachelor’s and Jacob’s. In both instances, it required determination, participation, flexibility, a plan, and support,” Marks said. “So, fall Class of 2017, congratulations again on completing this educational milestone. Remember that you can do it again. If you choose to, you can challenge yourselves further and continue your education. Or you can do something different, something that challenges you in a completely separate way. It doesn’t matter what you choose because, once you believe in your success, the possibilities are endless.”

Graduation by the numbers

At Saturday’s ceremony, the youngest graduate was 17 years old, the oldest was 72 years old and 13 graduates were over the age of 60. Fifty-six percent of the graduates were female.

With this graduating class, SPC has awarded 166,174 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

See more photos from the morning and afternoon ceremonies on the college’s Facebook page.


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(left to right) Verizon Client Services Eric Wingard, SPC President Tonjua Williams, SPC Board of Trustees Chair Nathan Stonecipher

The St. Petersburg College Foundation has received a $50,000 grant from Verizon to establish the Verizon Scholarship for Student Success to support economically disadvantaged, underrepresented students at St. Petersburg College (SPC).

Approximately 50, $1,000 scholarships will be awarded through the scholarship program during the 2018 calendar year to a diverse group of underrepresented students – minorities as defined by race or ethnicity, veterans, those with disabilities and first-generation students. In addition, the scholarship will support SPC Ignite students, a guaranteed admission program into Florida A&M University (FAMU).

“With this gift, Verizon joins a growing number of area businesses who partner with the SPC Foundation to fund scholarships and a broad range of other programs that support the college’s effort to prepare our local workforce,” said Frances Neu, SPC Vice President of Advancement and Foundation Executive Director. “We are deeply grateful to Verizon for their vision, their generosity and their support of our students.”

The grant supports the mission of Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, to give free technology, free access and hands-on immersive learning to students in need.

“Verizon and St. Petersburg College have a shared mission of preparing students to thrive in a tech-driven economy. The recipients of the Verizon Scholarship for Student Success will be our torch bearers and we must equip them with the necessary technology and skills to solve the challenges of our national community,” said Julie Smith, Director of External and Government Relations for Verizon. “We are happy to partner with SPC to provide the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s global economy. Education and technology are the great equalizers and we need more students to see the world of possibilities waiting for them.”

The Verizon Scholarship for Student Success will be an important element in St. Petersburg College’s multi-pronged approach to improving student completion rates for underrepresented students pursuing a college credential. The scholarship will provide support and encouragement to students who often juggle multiple obligations outside of college, are at greater risk of dropping out and are less likely to receive financial support from their families. The availability of tuition assistance can mean the difference between enrolling in college and deferring academic and career goals, sometimes indefinitely.

To learn more about the St. Petersburg College Foundation’s scholarship program, contact Frances Neu, VP Institutional Advancement, SPC and Foundation Executive Director at 727-341-3302.

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