SCF Launches Plan to Boldly Lead

Guest Correspondence

BY CAROL PROBSTFELD SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY FEB 20, 2021

In 2015 the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, declared its desire to Boldly Engage its faculty, staff, students, community partners and donors to build a stronger, more responsive community asset. Now, six years later, it is ready to set forth a new vision – to Boldly Lead. SCF is a resource for every member of the community and fulfills leading roles in multiple areas – economic driver, higher education and workforce education standard-setter, employer, innovator and cultural centerpiece.

The Boldly Leading 2021-2026 Strategic Plan is SCF’s vision to be the community’s first choice for higher education, economic development, philanthropic investment and cultural fulfillment in order to respond to an evolving higher education landscape. Student populations are more diverse and there is no longer an agreed upon version of the “traditional” student. Students demand flexibility in information delivery platforms, scheduling and curriculum. They also expect more return for their investment and for degrees that lead directly to meaningful, long-term employment. This plan leads us to meet those expectations.

SCF began its strategic planning process in the summer of 2018, conducting internal and external surveys, focus groups and interviews to gather the thoughts and opinions that helped shape the development of this plan. The feedback gathered through the planning process coalesced around four broad categories that became the plan’s four strategic priorities: Quality, Opportunity, Growth and Diversification.

Commitment to quality at SCF means that we will always do what we say, deliver on our promises, and provide a strong return on investment to our students, donors, and taxpayers. SCF will be the community’s academic cornerstone by providing the only four-year, full-college experience in our region and enriching the quality of life in Manatee and Sarasota Counties through workforce training, continuing education, visual and performing arts and athletics.

Opportunity is at the heart of our College. We create opportunities for a better future for our students and community members. As we focus on our strengths, we know that creating more opportunity is the pathway to taking a leading role in our region. SCF will lead with bold opportunities as our region’s first choice for higher education, employment, cultural enrichment, and as a high-impact choice for donors. 

The growth of our institution must mirror that of our service area, but our strategic priority of growth is about more than just physical expansion. We must effectively and impactfully manage the growth of our institution’s physical and virtual presence to best serve our community. We will expand our regionally relevant two- and four-year degree programs and develop and deliver the programs, services and activities required by a changing economic, social and educational environment.

SCF will reflect the socio-economic vision of Manatee and Sarasota Counties with its focus on diversification. With multiple physical campuses and the online campus, SCF will offer higher education and workforce training where our community members work, live and play. We will adapt with our community to serve targeted population needs and create an inclusive atmosphere where all are welcomed and supported.

SCF is setting forth a new vision – to Boldly Lead.  By prioritizing Quality, Opportunity, Growth and Diversification we will be a fiscally resilient institution that can readily withstand both economic and political changes, sustain an environment that will attract and retain students and employees from all backgrounds, and enjoy a concrete reputation for creating and providing high-quality educational opportunities.

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

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