SCF Looks to the Future While Celebrating History

(Bradenton, Fla., Sept. 14, 2015) —  State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), the region's first and largest public college, marks its 58th anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 17.

SCF has a rich tradition of offering the community an affordable and quality education since 1957, when the State Board of Education established SCF, then Manatee Junior College, as an approved college with the primary mission of providing college training for people of all ages.

“You can get anywhere from here, and at SCF, we are here to get you there,” said SCF President Carol F. Probstfeld. “From a Florida senator to Bradenton’s fire chief to professional athletes and many other well-respected professionals throughout our community and beyond, SCF has given its graduates a solid foundation from which to launch their chosen careers or additional educational pursuits.”

In its first year, the College held classes in the old Manatee County High School building on Manatee Avenue West. Today, SCF serves 27,000 college credit students annually at locations in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice, and online. SCF now offers seven bachelor’s degrees, while continuing to focus on highly respected associate degrees that prepare graduates for university transfer and professional positions. The Corporate and Community Development Division annually serves another 14,000 participants in noncredit classes in workforce training, professional development, and driving safety through workshops and online classes.

The College has graduated more than 44,000 students since 1959. SCF continues to increase the number of programs offered, adding four new Associate in Science degrees (Business Administration, Business Entrepreneurship; Business Administration and Management, Insurance Services; Health Services Management; and Technology Project Management), and four additional certificate programs (Live Event Media Production; Entrepreneurship; Database Administration and Web Development Specialist) in 2015-16. In total, there are 29 Associate in Sciences degrees as well as Associate in Arts degrees and 19 certificate programs.

SCF students graduate not only with a diploma, but also with the skills to excel in their chosen careers. For example, 2015 nursing graduates posted a 96 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam, exceeding the state rate by 20 percent, and dental hygiene and radiography students posted 100 percent pass rates on their respective licensure exams.

 This achievement, among other accomplishments, recently earned SCF a sixth place ranking in the state, placing it in the top tier of Florida’s 28 colleges, according to a new Board of Education performance funding system for state colleges.

 In late August, students returned to SCF Bradenton to discover physical bragging points as well, including a renovated food service area and new student lounge in the student union, and Starbucks coffee being served in the Library Café. SCF Venice received an upgrade to its landscaping and improvement to the campus bookstore. The Lakewood Ranch campus also received upgraded landscaping.

 Looking ahead, SCF will launch its 2015-2020 Strategic Plan later this month. According to Dr. Probstfeld, the plan will boldly engage the community, students, donors, faculty and staff to create a future for the next five years and beyond that allows the College to grow, adapt, respond and achieve.

 “This plan is a melding of my vision for the college with the invaluable input from our community and our own students, faculty and staff,” Probstfeld said. “We are the Manatee-Sarasota community’s college and I believe this plan will take us into the future together with a shared vision.”

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