Board Report: Feb. 17

(Bradenton, Fla., Feb. 17, 2010) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) District Board of Trustees sensed excitement in the community following the approval by Manatee County School District for SCF Collegiate School to open this fall.

“We were commended for a strong application. The community has echoed support for the collegiate school by strong attendance at recent info sessions,” said SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner at the Feb. 17 regular meeting of the board.

Based on comments they have heard from community members, board members agreed that there is a strong desire for access to quality education with the unique opportunity for high school students to simultaneously earn a college degree.

“There’s a tremendous amount of interest out there and a lot of excitement in the community about the charter school,” trustee Joe Miller said.

SCF has begun accepting applications for a head of school and expects to select someone for the position in the next few weeks, Hafner said.

Hafner also met with a textbook publisher about potentially piloting a program for electronic books to allow faculty the flexibility to develop course work from many different sources and cut the cost of textbooks by 50 percent for SCF students. Students’ textbook savings in one semester could help purchase a mobile e-reader device like an iPad.

“This could offer a real savings for our students and exciting opportunities for our faculty. The collegiate school with its emphasis on technology also lends itself to this opportunity,” he said.

Hafner also announced a positive response was received to the College’s recent Equity Report. The report commended SCF for successful progress in its efforts to promote diversity and awareness of diversity issues through training, recruiting efforts and evaluations.

SCF nursing students excelled on the recent National Council Licensure Examination with 100 percent passing, Hafner said. Graduates scored an average of 93.75 percent compared to the national average of 88.42 percent.

Peg Beck, SCF executive director of human resources, presented the employee wellness initiative launched in effort to promote healthy lifestyles among employees. The program is a points-based system that offers rewards for engaging in healthy behavior, including a health screening, weight loss program, physical activity and other beneficial practices. Participation in the health risk assessment at the annual Benefits Fair increased from last year’s 15 percent to about 80 percent this fall.

“SCF’s wellness program has been named a Fit-Friendly company by the American Heart Association for two years in a row and this really is a key component,” Hafner said.

SCF was just one of five organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties to be recognized in a special issue of Forbes magazine for earning the gold-level award granted to companies that offer physical activity support, increase healthy eating options at work and promote a wellness culture.

In comments, Hafner also announced:

• For the second consecutive week, the SCF baseball team with its 9-2 record is ranked No. 1 in the state by the Florida Community College Activities Association Coaches’ poll. SCF shortstop Maureen Sandidge from Venice, Fla., was named FCCAA Softball Player of the Week.

• SCF has arranged for Barry University to offer a doctoral program to eligible college employees. Thirty-eight applications were submitted, representing 28 percent of all eligible employees with a master’s degree.

• Dr. Mark Milliron, president of Catalyze Learning International and leading expert in technology and education, recently led a discussion with faculty, staff and administration about SCF’s eCampus. Milliron, who recently joined the Gates Foundation, was intrigued about the concept of SCFCS.

The board also approved:

• A fee for $50 fee for Figure Studies in Clay class and $85 for League Bowling, a popular class returning to SCF.

• A financial report and acceptance of gifts and grants from the Department of Education for $9.9 million for the Federal Pell Grant Program and $50.1 million for the Academic Competitiveness Grant.

At the meeting, the board also recognized SCF students and employees whose combined efforts raised $1, 775 for Haitian relief efforts including Adjunct Coordinator Mary DiTaranto, Bradenton Student Life Advisor Tim Hill II, Haitian Club President Jean Caleb Joseph, Venice Student Life Advisor Jeff Snyder and SGA Venice Vice President Zaph Manigat.

Students Joseph and Manigat, who have family connections in Haiti, expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to attend SCF and participating in a communitywide effort to help Haitians in relief.

“It’s a privilege and honor to be with you,” Manigat said. “It’s amazing that we all came together to support Haiti.”

“I’m thankful to be a student at SCF and for the support in raising funds for Haiti,” Joseph said.

“It’s encouraging to see these students step up to help during a global disaster,” Snyder said.

SCF trustees commended the students and employees for their rapid response.

The next meeting of the board is scheduled at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 17, at SCF Bradenton.

SCF students and employees recognized for Haitian relief efforts
Front: Adjunct Coordinator Mary DiTaranto, Bradenton Student Life Advisor Tim Hill II, Haitian Club President Jean Caleb Joseph, SGA Venice Vice President Zaph Manigat, Venice Student Life Advisor Jeff Snyder. Back row: SCF Board Chairman Steve Harner and SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner.


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