State College of Florida completes first decade in Lakewood Ranch

dgraham@bradenton.comFebruary 16, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Since first coming to its Lakewood Ranch branch campus a decade ago, State College of Florida added a baccalaureate program, changed its name, went smoke-free, hired a new president, and completed a second building housing nursing, other health professions, education and SCF's new Energy Technology Management Program.

New this year is Saturday College, a program allowing students to earn a complete associate degree in an accelerated time frame by attending Saturday classes. Currently, students in that program can earn either an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science in Business Administration/Accounting.

"SCF Lakewood Ranch continues to enhance the student experience by expanding student services and offering evening classes, flexible start classes and -- new this year -- Saturday classes to help students complete their degrees quickly," said Donald Bowman, vice president of educational and student services and interim provost, SCF Lakewood Ranch.

However, area students

have been using the campus to augment their collegiate progress since the start.

"What I really liked about going to class there was the one-on-one with the professors. When they asked questions, you could tell they really wanted students there to succeed," said Sarah Verizzo, who attended both as a dual enrollment student from Sarasota High School before graduating in 2009 and as a transient summer enrollee from Florida State University.

She will complete her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Management from FSU this spring.

The 42,000-square-foot Medical Technology & Simulation Center, which opened in 2010, was the college's first green certified building and achievedLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. That doubled the size of the Lakewood Ranch campus, which began in January 2003, with the 30,000-square-foot Center for Innovation & Technology.

The CIT houses credit classes, a variety of noncredit, personal and professional development and workforce training classes, and business events at its location in Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park.

"The vision of college and legislative leaders 10 years ago to establish a presence east of the I-75 corridor and at the epicenter of SCF's service district has proven to be on target." said SCF president Carol F. Probstfeld.

The property for the 10-acre campus was donated by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. At the opening of the medical building, Rex Jensen, president and chief executive officer for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, told the Herald, "I can't think of an institution that gives the local populace and the local economy the lift that this one does."

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