The name State College of Florida (SCF) has been used only since 2009 to refer to this college located in Manatee County, but the institution has a history going back several decades. Before the name change, SCF was known as the Manatee Community College, and this is the name that most people still associate with this institution of higher learning.
SCF started off as Manatee Junior College when it was established by the Florida State Board of Education in 1957. It is the oldest and largest community college in Florida and was established to make higher education more accessible to the youth and adults of Florida. At its founding, it started with a student population of only 500 and classes were held in a former high school.
The college’s expansion led to the development of additional campuses and an ever-increasing student enrollment. Today, SCF serves over 36,000 students per year. The college has four campuses – SCF Bradenton, SCF Lakewood and SCF Venice and also conducts many courses through various public sector sites and also via eLearning.
The great development that took place in 2009 to necessitate the change of name from Manatee Community College to SCF was the approval by the Florida State Board of Education for the college to offer a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Before then, the college was only offering associate degrees.
SCF offers a wide range of academic programs which are grouped into three broad divisions – the division of Arts/Letters and Social/Behavioral Sciences, the division of Math, Science, Technology and Business and the division of Nursing and Health Professions.
The various academic divisions are further subdivided into departments. The division of Arts, Letters and Social and Behavioral Sciences, for example, has three departments – Fine and performing Arts, Language and Literature and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Students enrolled in the Fine and Performing Arts department obtain education in very diverse fields and the courses lead to various A.A and A.A.S. degrees. Examples include Associate of Art degrees in dramatic arts, mass communication, journalism, philosophy and religion, magazine production and radio and TV broadcasting. The department also offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in various fields including graphic design and digital media.
The language and literature department has degree programs in various languages including English, French and German. It also offers degrees in communication, English education and rhetorical speech.
Under the business department, the college offers a wide range of A.A. and A.A.S. degrees covering areas such as business administration and management, automotive service management, industrial management technology, culinary arts and hospitality management. The department also offers three certificate courses in marketing, business management and accounting applications.
The college’s department of nursing offers an Associate in Science degree in Nursing (ASN) and, since 2010, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing ((BSN). The college’s BSN program was developed in response to requests made by local hospitals and healthcare providers.
Other baccalaureate programs offered at SCF include early childhood development, health services administration, homeland security and public safety administration. Beginning 2012, the college plans to offer 12 more four-year degree programs.
SCF is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Most Popular Fields of Study
SCF admits both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students to its various programs. Students seeking admission to the college’s certificate programs are required to submit their official high school transcripts or GED scores to the college’s Education Records Office. In addition, the applicants are required to complete residency information and documentation.
Where the certificate-seeking student is registering for a course that requires a math or English prerequisite, they will be required to take the college’s placement tests. Students who present SAT or ACT scores for tests taken less than two years from the date of application for admission are exempted from placement testing.
In addition to submitting the documents required for certificate students, students enrolling for a degree program are also required to submit official transcripts issued by any other college or university previously attended. Students transferring to SCF from other colleges or universities are required to instruct their former institutions to deliver their official transcripts to the college. The college does not accept transcripts delivered in person by the applicant and admission is dependent on the evaluation of the Educational Records Office.
Students who seek readmission to the college after absence of one year or more are required to reapply afresh. Where the student has been away because of suspension or expulsion, he or she will be required to provide documentation showing that all the issues that led to the suspension/expulsion have been resolved and then await the approval of the college’s admissions committee.
The college conducts selective admission for programs in the health professions. The number of applicants for health courses usually exceeds available capacity and additional requirements are sometimes applied to make only the most qualified obtain admission. When applicants are more than available seats, the college uses the applicants’ GPA to determine who gets admitted.
International students seeking admission to the college are required to obtain minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores of 500 for the paper-based version, 173 for the computer based version and 61 for the online based test. International students are also required to show evidence of ability to pay for college and their upkeep. Where the student will be offered financial support by another person, the college requires that an Affidavit of Support be submitted.
Financial aid for students attending SCF is available from many sources and more than 64% of students attending the college rely on some form of financial aid to pay for college.
Students who attended Florida high schools could apply for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. This scholarship program was created by the Florida legislature in 1997 and benefits such high school students who obtain their post-secondary school education in the State. The program disburses a specific amount per credit hour. Under the program, students who obtain an upper division in high school receive amounts up to $86 per credit hour under the Florida Academic Scholars program. Varying amounts are also awarded for Medallion Scholars and Gold Seal Vocational Scholars.
To qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship, the applicant must have been resident in Florida for at least one year and be enrolled in a degree program.
Another scholarship that targets local residents is the Community Foundation of Sarasota County – Adult Learner Scholarship. The scholarship benefits adult learners who are returning school after a prolonged break and those who do not go to college directly from high school. Applicants are also required to demonstrate financial need.
Students enrolled in nursing programs at the college could also apply for the Nurse’s Training Scholarship – Voiture 880 which is awarded to Florida residents enrolled in a nursing degree program at the college. A similar scholarship, the Nurse’s Training Scholarship – Sarasota County is awarded to residents of Sarasota.
The State of Florida awards several grants, among them the Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG). This is awarded to undergraduate residents of the State and amounts could be as high as $1,300 per year. For certificate students, the State awards the Florida Student Assistance Grant – Career Education (FSAC-CE) and the minimum amount disbursed is $200 per term. Residents of Florida with exceptional financial needs could also apply for the First Generation Matching Grant which awards varying amounts to undergraduate students.
Federal grants and loans can also help a student attending SCF pay for college. Federal grants available include the federal Pell grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Federal loans include subsidized and subsidized Stafford loans and PLUS loans.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students at SCF have a very wide variety of student activities to engage in. There are many clubs and organizations developed along the lines of the academic programs offered at the institutions. Some of the competitive academic teams active at the college include the Math Olympics Team and the Phi Beta Lambda Business Club.
Special interest groups active at the college include the African American Student Union, the Multicultural Club, the Student Ambassadors and the Gospel Choir while the Kiwanis are represented at the college by Circle K International.
SCF students also produce their own publication, the Pentangle. While this is a forum for students to air their views, it is also used to help journalism and mass communication students learn the latest in their chosen profession in more practical ways.
Students in the Language and Literature Department also produce a literary and arts magazine, the Elektraphrog.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Athletic activities at SCF cover baseball, basketball, softball, tennis and volleyball. The college is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Florida Community Colleges Athletic Association (FCCAA) and its teams, known as the Manatees, compete in the NJCAA’s Region VIII.
Remarkable recent achievements by the college teams include a second-place conference finish by the college’s women’s tennis team in 2009 and an FCCAA win for the men’s baseball team in 2010.
- “Manatee Community College changes its name”. Tampa Bay Business Journal (Apr. 16, 2009). 23rd May 2011
- “MCC Receives Excellence in Customer Service Award”. Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. 23rd May 2011
- “SCF History”. State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota. 23rd May 2011