College Continues to Grow
Dr. Norm Stephens
shared good news on numerous fronts in his annual state-of-the-college address at Welcome Back.
While full-time enrollment continued to grow during the past year, South Florida Community College recently received two grants to support its programs and services. At the same time, the college’s reputation was enhanced when several faculty members and one former trustee received prestigious awards for exemplary service.
During the past three years, SFCC has been “growing like crazy,” Dr. Stephens said, with full-time enrollment increasing by 24 percent. Summer enrollment was up 8 percent over 2009, and fall term enrollment at this early stage appears to be up about 3 percent over a year ago. This increase in enrollment and a tuition rate increase has helped SFCC remain in good financial shape. “Financially, we’re fine,” Dr. Stephens said, although he noted that all departments continue to watch their budgets carefully. “We can’t quite predict what the Florida Legislature is going to do in terms of possible cutbacks during the year. During two of the last four years, we’ve had mid-year reductions in funding. Things are going well here because of the hard work of many, many people.”
In mid-August, Dr. Stephens learned that SFCC will receive a $1.2 million Student Support Services Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will pay for additional staff to provide student services. Dr. Stephens said the grant will “tie into our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) perfectly,” especially as it launches the First-Year Learning Experience for new students this fall. “The echoes are still ringing in the halls from the shouts of happiness about this,” Dr. Stephens said.
Take Stock in Children (TSIC), administered by the SFCC Foundation, Inc., was recently selected to receive an Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grant, being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Education. SFCC’s TSIC program will become one of the three in the state to serve as models for other county’s TSIC programs. “For our TSIC to be identified as exemplary, to be used to help other parts of the state be as successful as we are, it’s a real plus,” Dr. Stephens said. He encouraged employees to support TSIC as well by becoming mentors to one of the 149 seventh-12th graders currently enrolled.
Adding to the college’s reputation for excellence, several faculty members and one former trustee were recognized for their outstanding contributions to education. Erik Christensen, physics professor and chair, Natural Sciences Department, and Wendell “Winkie” Williams, former SFCC trustee and charter member of Florida’s State Board of Community Colleges, are the recipients of Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) awards for the Southern Region. Junior Gray, Patty Manderville, and Tim Hansen were presented with medallions and certificates for being SFCC’s recipients of 2010 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. These faculty were nominated for NISOD awards by Dr. Stephens because they received 2009 President’s Awards.
Along with acknowledging other employees for reaching milestones in years of service to the college, Dr. Stephens especially applauded Don Appelquist, executive director, SFCC Foundation, for being the first employee in the college’s history to achieve 40 years of service.
Dr. Stephens also reminded employees that Panther Spirit pins continue to be given to members of the SFCC chapter of the Florida Association of Community Colleges (FACC) who make donations to both the SFCC Foundation and the United Way. “Last year, we gave out Panther Spirit pins to 100 employees, and we want to make it 200 this year,” Dr. Stephens said. “We encourage all of our employees to support these fine organizations in whatever way they can.”
Five United Way donors won special gifts in a drawing: Sharon Gates (SFCC T-shirt and mug); Enrique Ramos (SFCC sweatshirt); Charla Minson (umbrella and goody bag); Evelyn Butcher (coaster set and goody bag); Christine Greenwald (disaster kit); and Barbara Hergianto ($50 gift certificate).