SFCC moving ahead with innovations
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In the wake of economic uncertainty, enrollment is increasing at South Florida Community College, and SFCC is moving forward with major innovations, Dr. Stephens said in his annual state-of-the-college address at Welcome Back.
According to Dr. Stephens, the economic downturn appears to have hit bottom, meaning that recovery is on the horizon. At the same time, the college is benefiting from short-term federal funding. “The good news is we needed the federal money,” Dr. Stephens said. “The bad news is that it’s only coming for a couple of years. We hope the economy turns around for next year.”
Another challenge is that some of the college’s funding comes from sources that specify exactly how the money can be used. “It’s a little strange to see that we can afford to renovate an auditorium, and do a fabulous job, but we can’t afford to buy necessities, like paper, pencils, and dry marker board erasers. Our supply budget has been cut so badly,” Dr. Stephens said. “I appreciate your patience. We are doing everything we possibly can to make ends meet.”
On the bright side, enrollment for the spring and summer terms was up by nearly 10 percent over 2008. Early registration figures indicate that pattern is continuing with the fall term. The resulting increase in tuition revenues adds to the college’s budget.
Over the next year, the college will acquire Luminus, a computer-based information portal that will enhance communication with college staff and students, and the Banner Document Management System, which will change the way the college shares and archives vital documentation. These technology enhancements will be especially important as SFCC begins its reaccreditation process with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In other major developments over the past year:
The SFCC District Board of Trustees approved a new Five-Year Strategic Plan in June. The plan may be reviewed at the SFCC Web site, www.southflorida.edu. The college is now prioritizing its planning goals.
The renovation of Building 100 at the Lake Placid Center makes new classrooms and other facilities available for the fall term. The building gained an elevator, a new anatomy and physiology lab, remodeled bathrooms, and other improvements.
The SFCC Auditorium has a new name – The Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Parking spaces on the circle at the SFCC Highlands Campus can now be used for short-term parking.
Panther Tales, the employee newsletter, has become an e-magazine and is available at www.sfccpanthertales.net.
The following employees received pins for years of service:
Ella Jane Ferguson
Dr. Deborah Milliken
Dr. Leana Revell
Dr. Michael McLeod
D. Steven Noel