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St. Petersburg College
St. Petersburg College (SPC) has identified key aspects within each topic where the Achieving the Dream model will bring assistance, expertise and experience to further the college’s advancement. SPC has an ultimate goal of closing achievement gaps and improving student outcomes. Similarly, SPC’s vision for equity is to open avenues of access and success in higher education to low-income, first generation, disabled and underrepresented college students.
Although SPC strives to be a data-driven institution, the college struggles in its ability to access data at the increasing rate of need. Until access to data is readily available, the college will struggle with prioritizing efforts including: metrics development, training and resources. To overcome these obstacles, Achieving the Dream will help the college focus on:
- Strategic areas in order to develop strategies and set benchmarks to enhance student success
- Decrease achievement barriers
- Building a culture of evidence guides, quality academic programs and effective out-of-class support services college-wide
SPC puts dreams within reach with degrees and programs that offer a foundation for achievement and success. Florida’s first two-year college, SPC was founded in 1927, and in 2002 became the state’s first community college to offer bachelor's degrees. The college's University Partnership Center offers more than 100 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. SPC has nearly 1,000 nurses in training and more than 600 SPC students are enrolled in teacher training. In 2010, the college and Gibbs High School entered into a partnership designed to help raise academic standards at the struggling high school and better prepare its students for college work. SPC offered resources, including facilities and faculty and student tutoring, to Gibbs students in order to better prepare them for college-level coursework. Gibbs performance has improved to within a few points of an “A” rating.
With ten locations across Pinellas County, SPC successfully serves a large and diverse student population. Fall enrollment for 2011 (33,938 students) was 4.1% higher than it was in 2010. Fall enrollment has increased each year since 2000. Nearly 70% of SPC students attend classes part-time. The average SPC student is 28 years old and 61% of undergraduates are female. Thirty-one percent of the students at SPC in the fall 2010 semester were minority students and 98% of undergraduates are Florida residents.
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