by Breanne Gordon
As St. Petersburg College students I’m sure you’ve been looking for a way to extend your college education without the high cost associated with Universities. Let’s face it; going to a well-known university is a pain, Sure the college life campus experience would be awesome, but the high cost of tuition on top of books, dorm, groceries, gas, food and more means that, for many of us, it remains an unrealistic dream.
What if someone told you that you could go to, let’s say, USF or Barry University but didn’t have to travel all that way in order to take their courses?
SPC first started the University Partnership program back in 1999 and, since then, it’s gotten much bigger. In this program students can take classes from select universities which participate in the program. At the SPC Seminole campus, I was greeted by the office manager of the University Partnership, Wendy Berry. There was an entire wall full of pamphlets from each university specificying what they offered at SPC campuses. There are pamphlets available on everything from spring classes for 2013 in general to Barry University Master of Clinical Medical Science.
Some of the participating universities: Barry University, Cleveland State, Florida Gulf Coast, FSU, UF, USF, Saint Leo, and FIT. And within these universities there are dozens of degrees to choose from: dental hygiene, educational studies, paralegal, veterinary, nursing, business administration, technology management and many more. These courses are offered at multiple SPC campuses, including the Seminole, Clearwater, Tarpon, Gibbs and Downtown campuses.
The application process is fairly simple for students; applying for this program is just the same as applying for the university. One difference is that the application goes through the office manager, Wendy, and she sends everything to the university and then awaits approval. This process is all explained on the Univeristy Partnership website under the ‘get started’ section on the left hand side of the webpage.
“Most students think that with this program they aren’t getting the full desired degree, which isn’t true” said project specialist Maria Greene. She knows that the most commonly asked questions are ones such as how much is tuition, who is teaching these classes, and is the degree I’m getting an SPC degree or university degree. The professors for these courses are faculty of the university. The degree received is also from that university, not SPC.
One downside is that the tuition rates are also those of the university campus.
Maria Greene noted that SPC does not receive any of the profit made from the tuition paid for these classes. They simply provide the buildings and rooms for the classes offered. She also said that there were quite a number of classes which are online which, from a student’s stand-point, is a huge positive.
An SPC partnership student, Jasmine Warren, who has been studying to be a pharmacist in the program for about a year, says that “classes are fairly small and there’s more opportunity for learning when you have more of the one-on-one learning experience, especially with such advanced classes.” When asked about the cost of tuition she stated that she felt it was a fair trade being able to take classes at SPC campuses rather than to travel all the way to another university and start a whole new life. Even with the higher tuition, she viewed it as much cheaper and more convenient for her life here in Seminole.
For additional information on specific degree programs and which universities are associated with this partnership visit: www.UPCSPC.com