Last month, on November 1, the Student Government Association of St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus hosted “The State of the College Address” at the Gibbs Campus. The President of St. Petersburg College, Dr. Law, and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Williams, both were in attendance to answer student questions and concerns about the college. A variety of issues were addressed, ranging from financial-aid, student resources, bachelor programs, and other SPC organizations.
Many questions arose regarding MIRA, SPC’s new Music Industry/Recording Arts (MIRA) program on the Gibbs Campus. Answers were provided by Dr. Law. Both questions were asked by students currently in the program.
Q: What is the likelihood of SPC offering a bachelor [degree] in music?
A: Unfortunately SPC is at a political standstill which probably won’t resolve until the next legislative session and it won’t happen right away. I wish I could tell you what the outcome will be, worst case it would be up to the Universities to decide. Same goes for expanding other BA programs as well.
Q: The MIRA program is very vague regarding what specific credits and requirements are needed to attain a MIRA-AS degree and what credits can be transferred from another school.
A: Putting together transfer credits for a quality program is difficult, epically a new one like MIRA. We find that many students don’t know requirements fully until they apply for graduation and that needs to change.
A former veteran and member of the Student Vet Group brought up an issue regarding the limited space for the growing groups on campus.
Q: This last year the Student Vet group has grown to 800 vets; would it be possible for us to relocate to a bigger room?
A: This is something we can definitely figure out. I cannot create space overnight but this is something that can be worked on.
Other concerns brought up by students pertained to SPC’s administration and support services.
Q: I am in a disability program for speech impairment. I see a disability coordinator at the beginning of the semester, and that’s it. Is there any way to make disability coordinators more accessible?
A: By this time next year (unless things get off track), every student will have an electronic learning plan which will make all support services more streamline and individualized to each student. This will hopefully provide for better follow up and customize the nature of support services.
Q: I am a transfer student from the UK and I have received a lot of conflicting information regarding academic advice. I think something needs to be done about the training for academic advice.
A: The problem is the student support side of the house does not match the classroom experience. There is a project that has been put together called “the college experience” which is designed to target what students expect.
Dr. White stepped in and answered the second half of this issue.
We also took an all college day on Tuesday on October 25th, and learned that students want more outreach but it has to be mandatory for students to utilize it. The administration has stated that they are working on developing this.
Dr. Law concluded by thanking everyone for attending and helping him understand what issues need to be worked on, and ensured that he would bring up many of these concerns with his staff at the next meeting.