Board Report: May 20, 2009

Read Spanish press release here.

(Bradenton, Fla. May 20, 2009) - Signaling its intention to continue meeting the local community's need for a highly educated workforce, the Manatee Community College (MCC) District Board of Trustees at its regular May meeting approved pursuing six new baccalaureate degrees.

 The College, which will be known as State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, (SCF) beginning July 1, will submit a letter of intent by June 1 to the Division of Florida Colleges to offer four-year degrees in the following fields: energy technology, health services administration, homeland security, technology management, early childhood education (birth through 4), and exceptional student education.

MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner commented on the excitement in the community about the College's new direction in offering more four-year degrees while stating that the College would remain committed to the traditional two-year degree programs.  

"We're not going to lose track of our mission of being an open-access educational institution. We will still be the same community college we have been for almost 52 years, offering the same high-quality education," said Hafner. "We are continuing to expand our mission by offering baccalaureate degrees to meet the needs of the community."

The College Board's decision to pursue the six additional baccalaureate programs comes after the State Board of Education granted approval for MCC to offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree on March 17. MCC garnered support from community leaders who expressed the vital need for nurses to get the baccalaureate degree locally.

Input from a student survey and the community supported the need for the newly selected baccalaureate degrees, said Dr. Mike Mears, vice president of baccalaureate programs and provost of MCC Bradenton.

"Students and community leaders told us these are the baccalaureate degrees they want and need," Mears said. 

Since about 70 percent of MCC graduates leave the area, the new baccalaureate degrees will give students incentive to stay and continue their education, Hafner said.

 "When they leave, they don't come back. If we really want them to live, work and retire in the community, this gives them an option to stay close to home," Hafner said.

Needs assessments to confirm student and employer demand will be completed this summer and formal proposals are expected to be submitted to the Division of Florida Colleges this fall. With final approval from the State Board of Education, the new programs could be offered in fall 2010 following the four-year nursing program slated to begin January 2010.

At the meeting, Hafner praised the board for leading MCC to be a driving force in the local economy. Board members were equally pleased that the College was attuned to the area's needs.

"I'm really thrilled to see that early childhood and exceptional student education is included on the list of baccalaureate degrees," said trustee Susan Miller Kelly. "There is such a need in our area."

In other action, the board also approved:

  • A $25,000 grant proposal that will help 50 and older workers to retrain for the workforce. Funded by MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures Community College Encore Career Project, RESET, the transitional program for adults will provide workshops, career exploration, counseling and referral services.  
  • A recommendation to negotiate a contract with NuVision to consolidate services to a single card for student and employee identification, library services, building access, bookstore purchases and printing or copying. The estimated cost through NuVision is $332,600, below the budget of $400,000. Recurring cost of operation is $23,400.
  • MCC's Florida Educational Equity Act Report for the 2008-09 academic year that reported improvements in first-time-in-college enrollment, overall increase in students completing associate degrees, and improved success rates in gatekeeper math courses.

The following staff and students were recognized at the board meeting:

  • MCC Earth Club student, Shane Henry, led a community-wide effort to raise awareness about the importance of recycling on Earth Day set a record for the most plastic bottles counted in an eight-hour period. Organizers collected 41,100 plastic bottles that weighed more than 4,020 pounds, which far surpassed the current official weight record of 657 pounds. The results were submitted to Guinness World Records™. Club advisers who oversaw the event were natural sciences professors Jeff Laborda and Don Hall.
  • Don Hall, MCC natural sciences professor, made a presentation to the board titled, "Why I teach at a Community College." He received the 2008-09 Vice President's Academic Excellence Award, which is granted to employees who exemplify the qualities of teaching excellence, engage in collegewide activities and have an extensive history of service to the institution. A full-time MCC faculty member since 1983, Hall teaches earth, space science, and meteorology courses. Hall also helped obtain funding for a Personal Scanning Electron Microscope and a computer-based physics laboratory.
  • Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honors society MCC Bradenton chapter president Jami Worley won the All-Florida Academic Team Award granted at the 2009 All-Florida Academic Team Ceremony on April 2 in Tallahassee. Worley also received MCC's first Outstanding Graduate Award at graduation on May 9. She was selected among 27 graduating students who applied for the award.
  • MCC graduate Hilary English won the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Guistwhite Scholarship. Designed to aid PTK members in earning a bachelor's degree, the scholarship is awarded to students based on academic achievement, participation in PTK programs, and service to their college and community. English was one of 20 students nationally who received the scholarship. She also was awarded the Beverly Beall & R. Kemp Riechmann Foundation Scholarship, presented by MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner at Honors Convocation.
  • MCC received the 2009 Innovation of the Year Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College for MCC's summer CSI program for high-achieving high school students in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Funded by grants from the Florida Department of Education's Governor's Summer Program, "Revealing the Truth: Multidisciplinary Explorations into Crime Scene Investigations," is a free four-week program offered for the past four summers that provides students hands-on training in state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques, and analysis and comparison of DNA results. MCC faculty and staff recognized include Dr. Andy Swanson, Daisy Vulovich, Brad Davis and Dory Lock.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is June 24.

Steve Harner, MCC board chairman, Dory Lock, grant specialist, resource development, Brad Davis, associate vice president, program evaluation and compliance, MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner, Daisy Vulovich, associate vice president, corporate and community development, Dr. Andy Swanson, assistant professor, natural sciences

Steve Harner, MCC board chairman, Jami Worley, winner of the Outstanding Graduate Award and Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team Award and MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner

Steve Harner, MCC board chairman, Hilary English, Phi Theta Kappa Guistwhite Scholar, Jennifer Quick, PTK adviser and language and literature faculty member, MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner

Steve Harner, MCC board chairman, Shane Henry, MCC Earth Club member, Don Hall, professor, natural sciences, and MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner

Steve Harner, MCC board chairman, Don Hall, professor, natural sciences, MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner, Dr. Mike Mears, vice president of baccalaureate programs and MCC Bradenton provost

La Junta de Fiduciarios de MCC Da su Visto Bueno a la Propuesta de Seis Nuevas Carreras

(Bradenton, Fla. Mayo 20, 2009) - Señalando su intención de continuar con la necesidad de la comunidad local por una alta fuerza de trabajo educada, la Junta de Fiduciarios Distrital del Manatee Community College (MCC) en su reunión regular de Mayo aprobó seguir adelante con seis nuevas carreras.

La universidad, la cual será conocida a partir del primero de julio como State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, (SCF), someterá una carta de intención antes del primero de junio a la División of Florida Colleges para ofrecer carreras de cuatro años en los siguientes campos: tecnología de energía, servicios de administración de salud, seguridad de la patria, administración tecnológica, educación infantil (nacimiento a 4 años) y educación estudiantil excepcional.

El Dr. Lars A. Hafner presidente de MCC comento sobre la gran emoción en la comunidad con relación a la nueva dirección de la universidad ofreciendo mas carreras de cuatro-años mientras señalaba que la universidad seguirá comprometida con los programas tradicionales de las carreras de dos-años.

 "Nosotros no nos vamos a alejar de nuestra misión de ser una institución educacional de acceso-abierto. Nosotros seguiremos siendo la misma universidad de la comunidad así como lo hemos sido por casi 52 años, ofreciendo la misma educación de alta calidad," declaro Hafner. "Nosotros seguimos expandiendo nuestra misión ofreciendo carreras de cuatro años para cumplir con las necesidades de la comunidad."

La decisión de la Junta de la Universidad de seguir con los seis programas adicionales de carreras de cuatro años, llega después que la Junta de Fiduciarios Estatales de Educación aprobara para que MCC ofreciera la carrera de cuatro años en Enfermería (BSN) en Marzo 17. MCC obtuvo apoyo por parte de los lideres de la comunidad quienes expresaron la necesidad vital que las enfermeras obtuvieran sus grados a nivel local.

La respuesta de una encuesta estudiantil y la comunidad apoyo la necesidad de las nuevas carreras de cuatro años seleccionadas, comento el Dr. Mike Mears, vicepresidente de los programas de cuatro años y rector de MCC Bradenton.

"Los estudiantes y los lideres de la comunidad comentaron que estas son las carreras de cuatro años que quieren y necesitan," declaro Mears. 

Como mas o menos el 70 porciento de los graduados de MCC salen del área, las nuevas carreras les dará a los estudiantes el incentivo para quedarse y continuar su educación, comento Hafner.

 "Cuando ellos salen, no regresan. Si nosotros realmente deseamos que ellos vivan, trabajen y se jubilen en la comunidad, esto les da la opción de quedarsen cerca a su hogar," declaro Hafner.

Se necesitan valoraciones para confirmar la demanda de estudiante y empleador la cual será completada este verano y propuestas formales se esperan sean sometidas a la División de las Universidades de la Florida este otoño. Con su aprobación final por parte de la Junta Fiduciaria Estatal de Educación, los nuevos programas podrían ser ofrecidos en el otoño del 2010 siguiendo el programa de cuatro-años de enfermería previsto a comenzar en enero del 2010.

En la reunión, Hafner alabo a la junta por liderar a MCC a ser una fuerza en la economía local. Los miembros de la junta estuvieron igualmente agradecidos que la universidad estuviera familiarizada con las necesidades del área.

 "Realmente estoy emocionado de ver que los cursos de educación infantil y educación estudiantil excepcional están incluidas en la lista de carreras de cuatro años," comento la fideicomisaria Susan Miller Kelly. "Hay mucha necesidad en nuestra área."

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