School Performance Gold

Guest Correspondence

SRQ Daily Columnist Dr. Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

Our goal for every student who enrolls at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, is simple—stay enrolled and make progress to a degree, graduate, and get a job with a decent salary or transfer to continue their higher education. While the student does that, SCF provides the outstanding faculty, technology, facilities, resources and support services to make it all happen. At every graduation, I feel the pride and reward of being part of that accomplishment.

The state of Florida created another reward that measures the accomplishment of that goal in 2015, this one with a financial stake for SCF. The state legislature, in partnership with Florida Department of Education, created a performance funding model for the Florida College System, of which SCF is a member.

SCF proudly earned a spot in the gold category of the top seven state colleges, ranking sixth of 28. Financially, we protected the money from our base budget contributed to the model ($404,935) and earned an additional $655,739. Colleges in the gold (seven) and silver categories (16) protected their base money and earned new money. Those in the bronze category (five) must submit an improvement plan and demonstrate improvement to earn back their base budget contribution.

This is a great accomplishment and a strong indicator that SCF is headed in the right direction. I expect performance funding to remain part of our state funding, just as it is for the State University System.

The performance funding model consists of four measures: job placement/continuing education, completion rates, retention rates and complete entry wages. We are measured on our ability to retain students through graduation and their ability to earn a higher wage job with their education or transfer to another school to continue their higher education.

Providing the level of service that our students and community deserve is paramount—financial rewards from the state are a welcome addition. We are already strongly focused on serving our students and community. SCF is a member of one of the best community college systems in the nation—bronze category schools may have to demonstrate improvement in Florida, but they rank among the best colleges in the nation.

SCF did well in the quantifiable performance funding metrics, but we also want to highlight and focus on measures of quality, such as our extremely high certification rates in our health sciences programs. Our nursing students posted a 96 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam, exceeding the state rate by 20 percent. Our dental hygiene and radiography students posted 100 percent pass rates on their respective licensure exams. And I can’t help but mention our national champion Brain Bowl team. Across the board, a significant quantity of high-quality achievements that directly benefit our community.

Our goal is to blend quality and quantity—to produce graduates with the right skill sets and capabilities to fill the needs of our local economy. When students meet that goal, the graduate, community and college all benefit. 

SRQ Daily Columnist Dr. Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

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