SFSC Begins New Academic Year with New Name and Other Changes
“New” was the buzzword at South Florida State College’s annual Welcome Back celebration for employees Monday morning.
Fall 2012 is the first academic term in which the college’s new name, new logo, and new college seal go fully into use, Dr. Norm Stephens pointed out in his annual state-of-the-college address. As classes begin over the next week, new students and many returning ones will see the full impact of the college’s name change in the new signage that is now in place at the SFSC campuses and center.
Several new changes are on the horizon – and even more are expected in the not-so-distant future. With the start of the fall term, the college’s mission will expand, as classes begin for its first baccalaureate program – the Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Supervision and Management (BAS-SM). The college is now crafting proposals for adding two more bachelor’s degree programs – nursing and elementary education – in approximately two years.
In mid-August, the National Science Foundation approved giving SFSC a $900,000 grant to begin occupational certificate and associate degree programs in the emerging biofuels industry. One program will focus on the agricultural production of biomass; the other on refining biomass for use as biofuel. These will be up and running in about a year through the Division of Applied Sciences and Technologies. “It’s hard to get a National Science Foundation grant for any institution,” Dr. Stephens remarked. “It’s particularly difficult for state colleges or community or state colleges. They’re very rare. Most of the grants are research oriented and go to colleges and universities with graduate programs. We’re in unique company.”
The Information Technology (IT) and Institutional Effectiveness (IE) departments have been combined under the direction of Dr. Christopher van der Kaay, the college’s new chief information officer (CIO). A new department, Academic Foundations, was recently created with Beth Andrews as its chair. As part of its responsibilities, it will oversee the delivery of the college’s first-year experience program, Guide to Personal Success (GPS). Stacy Sharp is the new chair of the English Department, and Dr. Deborah Milliken is the new chair of the Dental Education Department.
Planning is under way for SFSC’s fire science program. The immediate focus is on renovating Building P, where the program will be housed, and locating specialized equipment.
The Dental Hygiene Program achieved a worthy milestone over the summer, when it was reaccredited by the American Dental Association Council on Dental Accreditation (ADA CODA) without recommendations.
Over the summer, SFSC maintenance staff completed remodeling work in Building N, home to the electronics lab and the heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration lab. A multi-use path, being installed by the county along College Drive, is nearly complete.
For the second year in a row, SFSC is eligible for the prestigious Aspen Prize. “We’re very proud of that. It means that, based on data, we’re considered among the top 10 percent of community colleges in the United States,” Dr. Stephens said.
Dr. Stephens recognized several faculty members for accomplishments during the year. Dr. Peter Hamlet and Stacy Sharp were acknowledged for receiving the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) awards in May 2012. James McBride received a five-year service award for being the advisor to SFSC’s Tau Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). Dr. Michele Heston and Kathleen Cappo became Certified Nursing Educators through the National League for Nursing.
Employees who received pins for years of service were:
Dr. Kimberly Batty-Herbert
Dr. Brian Deery
Dr. Peter Hamlet
Dr. Charlotte Pressler
Dr. Annie Alexander-Harvey
Dr. Deborah Fuschetti
Dr. William Gregory