SUPERIOR STUDIES: The State College of Florida grows with our community

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Looking around our region, I see growth everywhere. The population of Manatee and Sarasota counties is growing rapidly, as are new neighborhoods, recreation areas and industries. Our two counties are booming and it is exciting to be part of it.

The State College of Manatee-Sarasota Florida always focuses on the best way to support our growing community. In order for our college to meet the needs of our service sector, we must expand our reach to all population groups, expand our collaborations with industry partners, donors and higher education partners, and expand our programs and schedule to meet the needs of students and students. Needs.

Effective growth is foresight … we need to take calculated risks to anticipate the needs of our community. We must be ready to seize opportunities created by our community and invest in programs and services that enable our graduates to flourish. Nor should we ever forget what makes us what we are: at CFS, we will always do what we say, deliver on our promises and provide a high return on investment to our students, donors and taxpayers.

CFS is well positioned to support new residents as our population grows in new development areas such as West Village in southern Sarasota County and Parrish in northwestern Manatee County. Our Venice campus is adjacent to the new West Villages and Atlanta Braves complexes and we own a property located on Erie Road in Parrish, where a future campus will be built.

CFS must be flexible and responsive to the needs of our growing population and be ready to develop programs to respond to emerging employment opportunities, emerging industries or lifelong learning activities for seniors. What are their needs in education, employment and recreation? We must be able to provide compelling educational opportunities at the time and place that best meet the needs of students.

We are also striving to increase the presence of our college and reach areas that are currently underserved or under-represented among our students. We are creating a task force on expanding our borders to ensure that our student population reflects all aspects of our community. The working group will identify existing barriers to registration, develop relationships among our under-served populations, and develop solutions so that anyone who wants to do hard work has access to higher education. We need to ensure that everyone is aware of the quality opportunities for higher education that are available to them in their own backyards.

We work every day to expand our collaborations with the philanthropic community in our region, its commercial and industrial partners and its peers in higher education. These relationships are very important to our future as they create opportunities for students through funding for scholarships and capital projects, programs and academic progress.

As a community college, we strive to be an agile and innovative organization that adapts to the changes we see in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Our core mission, which is to provide attractive and accessible learning environments that support student success and community prosperity, will guide us in expanding our region.

SCF is about to grow with our region and meet the challenges of our common future as higher education will always change lives and create opportunities.

Carol Probstfeld is President of the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota.