Dr. Stephens Updates FACC on Current Issues
As the guest speaker during FACC’s Jan. 20 general meeting, Dr. Norm Stephens, SFCC president, updated members on current projects at SFCC, including the auditorium renovation and the SACS reaffirmation accreditation.
“We are on schedule and on budget with the Theatre for the Performing Arts,” Dr. Stephens said. “It really is a dream come true for us. Many of the new additions have been ideas that we have had for many years, like new seating and greater fly space.” A VIP night is scheduled for Feb. 27 for the sponsors and others who have been involved with the renovations, and an open house will be held Feb. 28.
Dr. Stephens also discussed that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) taskforce had narrowed down the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to the First Year Learning Experience. SACS is a nationally recognized accrediting agency that accredits schools in 11 southern states. “For the next 16 months, the taskforce will take the First Year Learning Experience plan and incorporate it into a project over the next five years,” Dr. Stephens said.
“The QEP is a three-to-five year plan to enhance educational quality,” said Dr. Leana Revell, vice president for educational and student services. “The goal of the First Year Learning Experience is to increase student retention and student success. Without accreditation we cannot get federal funding, so this is a very important project. We expect to be reaffirmed in 2012 ”
Other topics Dr. Stephens discussed were enrollment, which “has been up 5 percent to 10 percent over the past 10 terms,” and the possibility of SFCC becoming a four-year college. “An initial needs assessment is being done right now,” he said. “We are looking at which programs will have the most need for baccalaureate degrees, but we are still at least two or more years away from that.” Currently, 14 Florida community colleges offer baccalaureate degrees and have become state colleges.
The next FACC general meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 17, 3 p.m., in Building H, Room 110.