SCF to hold public forum for collegiate school


BRADENTON – As part of a viability study to explore the development of a collegiate school, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota has scheduled a public forum 7 p.m. July 22 at SCF Bradenton, 5480 26th St. West, building 14.

Residents will have an opportunity to provide input and make suggestions at the forum.

Parents with children entering the sixth or seventh grades in Manatee County schools in fall 2010 are encouraged to attend the forum. The proposed school will be located at the college’s Bradenton campus.

Preliminary plans call for the collegiate school to open in fall 2010 to students entering sixth and seventh grades with additional grades to be included in subsequent years. The first class is expected to graduate in 2014.

SCF will be Florida’s first state college offering a collegiate school beginning with middle school students. SCFCS is designed to give students an opportunity to earn simultaneously a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

Demographics of the school are intended to reflect the Manatee County population with a curriculum that will encourage students to graduate from college. Outreach emphasis will be on “first generation” students whose parents did not attend college, according to an SCF press release. Educators leading the collegiate school development team at SCF are faculty member Dr. Cynthia Reynolds, special assistant to the president for the collegiate school, and Linda Benware, president of Innovative Education Strategies, Inc.

Benware, a former public school teacher and administrator with 35 years of experience, is conducting the viability study for the collegiate school. She was the founding principal in 2004 of a collegiate high school that is currently ranked the No. 1 high school in its county and among the top 10 high schools in Florida.