Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Education

For graduates of vocational programs at PHSC, placement rates are high

Maria Pina graduated from Pasco-Hernando State College's West Campus in December, ready to reinvent herself as a registered nurse after a career as a teacher.

It didn't take long.

After obtaining the required credentials and a brief search, Pina landed a job at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey this month.

She gives a lot of credit for the quick placement to PHSC and a nursing program at the college that sees virtually all of its students find a job in the profession after graduation.

"I think it's very comprehensive," Pina said. "Students are highly desired."

Roughly 96 percent of all nursing program graduates in the job pool — 127 of 132 — landed jobs in the field, according to placement rates for students graduating in 2011-12, the most recent data available from the Florida Department of Education.

The nursing program isn't the only one with success at placing students in jobs.

About 91 percent of Pasco-Hernando State College students in associate of science programs — everything from information technology security to dental hygiene — were placed in jobs tied to their fields, according to the most recent data. That's roughly 229 of 251 eligible students.

That's better than the average placement rate of 88 percent for the 28 colleges in the Florida College System for students earning their degrees in 2011-12.

"People are getting jobs and are in jobs," said Geri Cochran, the associate dean of institutional effectiveness. "That's important in Pasco and Hernando counties."

While PHSC often looks at placement rates, Cochran said it's difficult to compare numbers across the state, given the differences among counties, their sizes and economic conditions. She said PHSC's rates, given the recent downturn in the economy, are very good.

"When we get into the 90s, that's success really," she said.

Cochran said a vast majority of graduates stay in the region. According to a survey taken late last year, roughly 90 percent of students want to remain in the area, which might force some graduates to take jobs slightly outside their fields.

"I think that's our big claim to fame here," she said. "We are supplying the workforce for this two-county (region)."

PHSC's job placement rate also fares pretty well when looking at all graduates in the college's vocational programs, a broader category that includes certificate programs.

For the most recent year, 688 of 770 graduates — or 89 percent— obtained jobs in their fields, on par with recent years. Historically, the rate has been even higher. Between 2002-03 and 2008-09, more than 90 percent of graduates were placed.

The placement rate peaked at 97 percent for students finishing in 2005-06.

It's not clear how many of the graduates are in full-time versus part-time jobs.

Cochran says it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why the numbers fluctuate, but factors include the qualifications of students coming into the program and program selectivity.

David Hamilton, operations manager at CareerSource Pasco Hernando, says PHSC is a valuable asset in the region and "very important as a career training source in the two counties."

Donna Burdzinski, the associate provost for the PHSC North Campus in Brooksville, said college officials closely study the numbers and use them when determining what programs to offer.

"You don't want to train people if they're not getting placed in the jobs," Burdzinski said. "That's our mission: to provide the training for the workforce.

"I do believe that we have a very solid impact," she said.

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Comments
Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is ‘Feminism’

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is ‘Feminism’

NEW YORK — This may or may not come as a surprise: Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is "feminism." Yes, it’s been a big year or two or 100 for the word. In 2017, lookups for feminism increased 70 percent over 2016 on Mer...
Published: 12/12/17
‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

RIVERVIEW — As a foster parent with two sons of her own, Kayla Storey has learned all the tricks to get her kids out of bed and off to school every morning. But this year, Storey says she’s the one waking up every school day with a knot i...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

University of Central Florida Greeks won’t hold social events, serve alcohol for 6 weeks this spring

ORLANDO — University of Central Florida fraternities and sororities won’t host social activities or any events with drinking for at least the first six weeks of the spring semester, up from the two-week ban on alcohol that has been in place in the pa...
Published: 12/08/17
Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Disturbed by stories about the rape of teens by supervisory staff, a pandemic of sometimes savage force, brutal beatdowns ordered by youth care workers and policies that permit the hiring of violent offenders, Miami-Dade’s state attorney wants to kno...
Published: 12/07/17
Henderson: Some basic facts about Hillsborough’s teacher pay imbroglio

Henderson: Some basic facts about Hillsborough’s teacher pay imbroglio

Hillsborough County’s public school teachers are horn-honking, voice-raising, sign-waving, foot-stomping mad, and I can’t blame them. They are paying for a problem they didn’t create. About one-third of the workforce was expecting to receive a $4,000...
Published: 12/07/17
In Watershed Ambassadors Program, Pasco students learn about natural Florida

In Watershed Ambassadors Program, Pasco students learn about natural Florida

SPRING HILL — On a small wooden dock at the Cross Bar Ranch, Cynthia Brinker gingerly pokes through the trappings in her fishing net, plucking out a tiny creature to examine close up. "What the heck is this?" the Weightman Middle School studen...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Crognale named 2018 Hernando Principal of the Year

Crognale named 2018 Hernando Principal of the Year

BROOKSVILLE — For just a year and a half, Steve Crognale has been the principal at the Endeavor and Discovery Academies. But now, he’s been named the Hernando School District Principal of the Year for 2018. Endeavor serves students, most of them hig...
Published: 12/06/17
‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

RIVERVIEW — As a foster parent with two sons of her own, Kayla Storey is skilled at calming first-day-of-school jitters. But this school year, Storey says she’s the one waking up every weekday with a knot in her stomach.It’s been there ever since th...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Why do universities handle sexual assault cases, anyway?

Why do universities handle sexual assault cases, anyway?

News stories about campus sexual assault often get the question, "Why do schools handle these cases, anyway?"Readers often wonder how universities got tasked with handling these convoluted cases in the first place. Where, they ask, do the police come...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Hillsborough teachers keep the heat on after $92 bonus offer

Hillsborough teachers keep the heat on after $92 bonus offer

TAMPA — The second Hillsborough County School Board meeting in less than a month took place Tuesday against a backdrop of honking car horns, cheering teachers and audience members moving through the room in shifts.Dressed in blue union-issued T-shirt...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17