Photo credit: State College of Florida
BY SHARON HILLSTROM
Touring the new Library & Learning Center at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) brought home to me how the institution has grown to be a regional powerhouse for academics, leadership and career education.
The stunning edifice and cutting-edge technology, the focus on collaborative workspaces – the entire environment lets you know that this is a place to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges in the workplace and in life.
SCF is the region’s first and largest public college, serving 11,000 college credit students annually at campuses in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, and via online classes. Another 14,000 participants annually attend professional development and personal enrichment classes.
As an economic driver, SCF’s impact on its service area is $432.4 million, according to a recent analysis. That impact represents 1.5 percent of the total regional economy, and SCF generates more in tax revenues than it receives.
The college is key in helping students increase their employability and serves a range of industries, rapidly tailoring many programs to the emerging requirements of businesses in fields like engineering, nursing, and more.
SCF offers 29 workforce degrees, including biotechnology, business administration, computer programming, construction management, dental hygiene, digital photography, early childhood education, engineering technology, graphic design technology, health service management, paralegal and physical therapy assistant. SCF recently implemented a Weekend College, making it easier for full-time workers to get their certificates and degrees.
Additionally, SCF is a member of the Cross College Alliance, a collaboration among the region’s higher education institutions and campuses working together to attract and retain talent in the Manatee-Sarasota region. The Alliance shares programs, services, curriculum and social events that help attract and retain students.
The quality of preparation that students receive in academics and leadership at SCF allows them to compete among the top students in the nation and the world. This spring, SCF students earned impressive honors in national and international competition, helping to demonstrate the quality of the college’s educational experience.
For the second year in a row, SCF’s Math Team won first place in the Mathematics Olympics competing with teams from throughout Florida, while SCF’s Brain Bowl team was a very close second competing against community colleges in a national tournament.
Three SCF students were among 141 Florida College System students named this spring to the 2018 All-Florida Academic Team, a recognition based on academic achievement and community service.
SCF students brought home honors – including four first-place awards – from the 68th Annual Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference. SCF also earned two team wins, for a community service project and decision-making.
SCF’s Model UN Team added to its award-winning record this year at the Southern Regional Model United Nations conference. Model UN teams role-play ambassadors and debate a wide range of topics during a simulated session of the United Nations. SCF won two team-wide awards and one individual award.
The college’s nursing program continues to excel. At SCF, 98 percent of Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) graduates passed the Registered Nurse (RN) certification on the first attempt and SCF graduates score significantly higher than state and national averages on the RN certification exam.
As an impressive, regional powerhouse for academics, leadership and career education, SCF is an economic development asset that helps to make our community more attractive to businesses and the talent employers are seeking for tomorrow’s workforce. For more information, visit SCF.edu.