The Manatee Community Foundation is the newest partner working with area colleges to bolster and unify higher education offerings in the Manatee-Sarasota area.
The Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast, known as C4, announced earlier this week the foundation was coming on board as a new partner.
C4 is made up of colleges in the region embracing the mentality that they do better working together than competing. Members of the consortium include New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, FSU/The Ringling and Eckerd College.
When you bring the colleges together, they were coming up with ideas they wanted to pursue, but it takes someone to come together and manage the intiative. - Laurey T. Stryker, C4 Initiative Manager
The foundation is contributing $25,000 to the consortium this year. Laurey T. Stryker, the initiative manager for the consortium, said the funding pays to manage the coordination between the schools. The colleges in the consortium attract different types of students, and one of the goals of the initiative is to help students learn about opportunities at other campuses.
“When you bring the colleges together, they were coming up with ideas they wanted to pursue, but it takes someone to come together and manage the intiative,” Stryker said. “(The funding) pays for initiative management, branding and a website to bring information in for all the colleges, so employers and students have a one-stop platform.”
Stryker said in 2017 C4 hopes to expand collaboration among the colleges through cross registration, joint research among faculty, consortium-wide recreation activities and the website to connect C4 students and employers.
Manatee Community Foundation Executive Director Susie Bowie said the consortium’s goals align well with the foundation’s.
“The Manatee Community Foundation is so pleased to become a new funding partner for the C4 initiative, supporting the overall partnership and new talent connector tool,” said Bowie. “With our donors’ history of funding higher education and our board’s passion for effective collaborations, this is a great fit.”
The foundation is joining the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Gulf Coast Community Foundation as C4 sponsors.