SPC > The College Experience: Student Success
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The College Experience: Student Success

  • CE-OverviewFrom orientation to graduation, St. Petersburg College puts students first. From the time students walk through our doors, whether physical or virtual, we give them the tools to earn the degree or certificate that will change their lives.

    Download an overview of St. Petersburg College's College Experience.

    Since 2012, the college has focused on preparing students to succeed in their courses and finish what they start through The College Experience.

    We have found our efforts are paying off, as SPC students, particularly minority males, have improved their academic performance and are returning from one semester to the next to complete their degree.

    Five key areas make up the College Experience: Student Success:

    • Out-of-Class Support - Extensive free resources, including individual tutoring, libraries and computer labs.
    • Integrated Career and Academic Advising - A full-service operation that helps students define who they are and identify career paths.
    • My Learning Plan - An online tool that prescribes the courses students need to take to complete their academic program.
    • New Student Orientation - Offered online and in person, our orientation sets expectations early and introduces students to everything they’ll need at SPC.
    • Early Alerts and Student Coaching - We identify struggling students early so they stay enrolled in their courses, on track with assignments and fully engaged.

    How the College Experience evolved

    After reviewing best practices, SPC began implementing the College Experience in Fall 2012 to keep the college focused on giving students the support they need to earn the degree or certificate that will change their lives. The College Experience was instituted through a strategic initiative communication plan entitled the 5/180 Plan. One goal of the 5/180 Plan was to ensure every staff member received the necessary training to best support the student success initiatives via a multi-tier training program entitled The College Experience Institute.

    "Every staff member has a role and will receive training in how best to support student success," said SPC President Dr. Bill Law. "These five initiatives on behalf of students are so important that they will require the best efforts of every employee." 

    Law recently wrote about The College Experience for the Community College Journal, a publication of the American Association of Community Colleges. Read the article. 


    In January, 2014, the college's marketing department launched CollegeExperience.com, an easy-to-navigate website aimed at students that outlines the five components. The site’s video host, SPC student Kevin Pace, connects with students as he guides them through:

    • Video testimonials from other students and staff
    • Statistics showcasing the increasing success of these initiatives
    • Links to other important resources

  • Spring 2015 College Experience online meetings

    Each Wednesday, about 200 SPC faculty, staff and administrators connect online to report on SPC's College Experience: Student Success initiative. The playlist below features each week's meeting, starting with the most recent:

     2014 Board of Trustees College Experience presentations

  • College Experience: Student Success Reports

    The following reports includes success metrics show that SPC students have continually improved their academic performance, validating the college’s efforts to help students finish what they start and succeed. The most dramatic gains were among First-Time-in-College students, particularly minority males, affirming the college’s approach.

  • The Latest

  • SPC officials co-host webinar for Achieving the Dream colleges

    This week, St. Petersburg College officials co-hosted a webinar entitled When Legislation Changes the Game: The New Playbook for Responding to Remedial Need for fellow Achieving the Dream (ATD) institutions. Read more.

    University Business magazine honors St. Petersburg College as “Model of Excellence”

    St. Petersburg College is one of 17 colleges nationwide to be honored by University Business magazine in its Winter 2015 Models of Excellence recognition program. Sponsored by Higher One, a leading provider of financial services to U.S. colleges, the Models of Excellence program recognizes innovative approaches to encouraging and nurturing student success on campus. “St. Read more.

    St. Petersburg College selected for prestigious, nationwide AACC Pathways Project

    St. Petersburg College has been selected as one of only 30 community colleges in the nation to participate in a three-year intensive Pathways Project, led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Read more.

    St. Petersburg College recognized for commitment to data-informed decision-making, closing equity gaps

    Achieving the Dream today announced St. Petersburg College (SPC) earned Leader College distinction – a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps. St. Read more.

    Student success continues to climb at St. Petersburg College

    Student success rates continue to climb at St. Petersburg College, particularly among First-Time-in-College minority students. Since 2012, SPC has focused on improving student success rates, defined as earning a grade of A, B or C in a course. Rates for FTIC students taking summer classes have jumped 7. Read more.

    SPC secures federal grant to deliver STEM scholarships to financially needy students

    Tampa Bay Times coverage Bay News 9’s coverage To help strengthen the skills of Tampa Bay’s future workforce, St. Petersburg College will award $520,000 in scholarships through a National Science Foundation grant to academically talented and financially disadvantaged students who pursue degrees in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. Read more.

    American Association of Community Colleges features SPC’s College Experience efforts

    In a column for the June/July issue of the Community College Journal, SPC President Bill Law offers best practices on how colleges can improve student performance and retention. Touting the experience and results from implementing the “game-changing” The College Experience: Student Success at SPC, Law credits students, faculty and staff for making it work. Read more.

    SPC ranks in Top 100 nationally for enrollment of Hispanic student undergrads

    St. Petersburg College has received national recognition for making significant strides in its effort to increase minority student enrollment and success. SPC made the list as No. 83 in the Top 100 Four-Year Colleges and Universities Enrollment Undergraduate Degrees by Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine in May 2014. Read more.

    Student success efforts paying off at St. Petersburg College

    For the third year in a row, students at St. Petersburg College have improved their academic performance, validating the college’s efforts to help students finish what they start and succeed. Read more.

    Tuition rates remain unchanged, as SPC stays focused on student success

    St. Petersburg College will be able to maintain its open door policy and commitment to student success while tuition remains unchanged. At its May meeting the Board of Trustees approved an operating budget for the 2014-2015 year, calling for a freeze in tuition increases. Read more.