Friday, February 23, 2018
Education

USF eyes degree programs for termination

TAMPA — In tight financial times, Florida universities have been told to comb degree programs to figure out which ones work, which ones need help and which ones need to go.

The University of South Florida has taken it a step further, targeting expendable degrees before someone at the state level does it for them.

On Thursday, the school's Board of Trustees identified 17 degrees that will likely go away, 15 from the now-defunct USF Polytechnic in Lakeland. The other two were a doctorate in biology to be replaced by two new programs, and a bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies from USF's Honors College.

Over the past four to five years, USF provost Ralph Wilcox said, USF has eliminated 22 degrees, while also adding new ones.

USF has built on a set of criteria issued by the Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System, to judge whether a degree program is productive. The university increased the state's criteria to hold itself to even stricter standards.

For example: Where the Board of Governors sets the threshold for a productive bachelor's program as awarding an average of six degrees a year, USF raised its own standards to 12. Once those programs were identified, faculty started looking at the details. Being small didn't automatically mean a program would go.

They also looked at whether the programs were popular. Did they match the school's long-term goals? Were they able to be split, combined, redesigned? Were they getting students jobs after graduation?

The proposed cuts will be presented to USF's full Board of Trustees for a vote in June, then will head to the state for approval. No student gets yanked from a terminated program. USF is required to devise a plan to gradually teach students out.

The school will use the criteria annually to keep tabs on degrees.

"This will be a continuing process in the same way we look to update our degree array to ensure that our students are getting cutting-edge, leading-edge opportunities," said Wilcox. "We recognize that some degree programs have had their time and don't necessarily bring the relevance to the marketplace."

Comments
Special Olympians shine at county summer games

Special Olympians shine at county summer games

NEW PORT RICHEY — It was one of those perfect days, when sunscreen and shade are in high demand, smiles are aplenty and the camaraderie on the field trumps the thrill of victory.About 600 Special Olympians and unified athletes from west Pasco schools...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

ZEPHRYHILLS — On a Thursday morning in a small warehouse off Gall Boulevard, a well-oiled machine of goodwill is cranking. At the Thomas Promise Foundation, volunteers Carlos and Robin Clothier, pack boxes of macaroni and cheese, granola bars, apple ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Published: 02/22/18
Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a dining hall at New York University advertised a special meal in honor of Black History Month. On the menu? Barbecue ribs, cornbread, collard greens, and two beverages with racist connotations: Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored...
Published: 02/22/18
Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

With high school students from Parkland in the Capitol this week advocating for gun control, the bill that would have allowed superintendents and principals to designate trained employees who can carry concealed weapons at school didn’t get heard as ...
Published: 02/22/18
How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

When students return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first time next Tuesday, they will be greeted by additional counselors and law enforcement."There will be a plethora of counselors and services at the school," Broward Schools Superintende...
Published: 02/21/18
School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears to have been in line for a sizable inheritance. He’ll never get to spend it — except perhaps on defense attorneys.The amount could be enough to compel a judge to order him to hire a private lawyer, rather ...
Published: 02/21/18
Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

DADE CITY — A Pasco High School student was taken into custody Tuesday amid accusations of threatening violence against the school. The campus was not at risk, school district officials said. But they made clear they take each threat seriously, and t...
Published: 02/21/18
‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

LITHIA — Students, faculty and staff recently scurried inside the Newsome High School gym for a morning assembly to hear a message about bullying from a man who kids once taunted.Newsome’s principal Carla Bruning invited actor Quinton Aaron, star of ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

RIVERVIEW — Spoto High School English Department Head Adam Sherman can’t help but wonder if a program he introduced to Spartan students could have changed the trajectory of Nickolas Cruz’s life before he gunned down and killed 17 people on Valentine’...
Updated: 9 hours ago