MCC's Budget Priorities Are Student Retention & Success

(Bradenton, Fla., June 23, 2005) -- A $35.5 million operating budget, up $2.1 million from last year's original operating budget of $33.4 million, was approved by Manatee Community College (MCC) trustees at a June 23 meeting.

"The proposed balanced budget will allow us to continue providing effective instructional programs, enhance distance learning, strengthen our response to community workforce demands by creating or expanding career and technical programs, and continue our campus improvement project to MCC Venice," said MCC President Dr. Sarah H. Pappas.

The 2005-06 budget reflects a 4.61 percent increase in state dollars from last year. Approximately 59 percent of the funding for MCC's operating budget comes from the state, with the remaining 41 percent coming largely from student fees and tuition.

A 5 percent increase in tuition is included in the state's funding increase. The cost for in-state students will rise from $61.11 per hour to $66.11. A student taking 15 hours in a term will pay $75 more; that is $658.35 less than the average cost of tuition for 15 hours at a Florida public university.

Out-of-state students will pay $245.05 per load hour, up from $227.81. Tuition to Florida community colleges is still among the lowest in the nation.

For the seventh consecutive year, MCC's budget was formulated based on priorities set by a committee of MCC administrators, faculty members, career employees and students.  The committee set as its primary objectives the funding of initiatives that support student success and retention and MCC's Quality Enhancement Plan, which places emphasis on distance learning. A new Early Alert System designed to recognize signs that a student needs special help and offer early remedies will enhance student retention. Funding also is designated for making available online additional student services including admissions, advising, orientation, library services and loan disbursement.

The budget allows for a 4 percent salary increase for faculty and other college employees, bringing the new entry-level salary for a beginning full-time instructor to $34,586. Other budget priorities include funding for three new faculty members plus laboratory technicians and other academic support positions.

A $5 million Public Education Outlay (PECO) allocation from the state includes $2.9 to remodel the aged graphic design/art building at MCC Bradenton and $2.1 for maintenance, repair, general renovation and other remodeling projects collegewide.

MCC operates on a July 1 through June 30 fiscal year. The budget approved by the  district board of trustees will be effective July 1, 2005.

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