Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

First bachelor's degree recipient graduates from PHSC

For many, the path to a bachelor's degree starts at community college and ends at a four-year institution.

But Jamal Roberts took the opposite approach. The 21-year-old spent his first three years of college at Kent State University in Ohio before transferring to Pasco-Hernando State College.

On Tuesday, he became the first PHSC student to graduate with a baccalaureate degree.

"I would be one of 1,000 to get a degree from Kent State if I were to graduate there," Roberts said last week before his graduation. "But when I graduate from PHSC, I'll be the first. The one and only to get a (bachelor's) degree this year. So I kind of feel like that's more of an accomplishment."

PHSC started offering four-year degrees in the fall 2014. Its selection is limited to bachelor of applied science in supervision and management, the degree Roberts received, and a bachelor of science in nursing.

Roberts was a scholarship defensive back on the Kent State football team and was within only one year of earning his degree. But when his mom, a PHSC staffer, told him he could come home to earn the degree, and be the first one to do it, he jumped at the chance.

"She informed me with the opportunity and we masterminded the plan and we got it done," Roberts said. "I loved Kent State, I'll be a part of the Golden Flash family forever."

State law limits colleges like PHSC, which traditionally offer two-year associates degrees, from offering a wide range of four-year baccalaureate degrees, said Ed Goolsby, dean of workforce development at PHSC. There has to be a need within the community for a certain kind of skilled worker, and that need can't be being met by other colleges or universities in the area.

The University of South Florida asked PHSC to consider adding the supervision and management degree because the university's program was being inundated with applicants.

"They were turning away students," Goolsby said. "So we met with them and they asked us to consider adding that program to take in students they were not able to accommodate."

But even before USF approached the college, administrators had been weighing the idea of expanding the college's academic offerings. Goolsby said administrators implemented the nursing degree to help meet the nationwide demand for nurses with four-year degrees. Traditionally, he said, a nurse would earn an associates degree and then take licensing classes.

Currently, there are 342 students enrolled in the two programs. In order to graduate, those in the supervision and management degree program need to take a seven class core curriculum, followed by a seven course concentration in one of three areas: organizational administration, public safety/public service or health care management.

For many students, Goolsby said, the proximity to home is the most important part. Some students are working adults who take classes part time and wouldn't necessarily be able to attend another institution.

And for the students out of high school who might otherwise go the more traditional route of getting an associates degree and transferring to a four-year institution, the new degree programs offer an alternative.

"It's a very unique opportunity for our students to earn a four-year degree without having to leave home, without having to travel, and at a more affordable tuition cost than they would have to pay at even a public university," Goolsby said.

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or jsolomon@tampabay.com. Follow @josh_solomon15.

First bachelor's degree recipient graduates from PHSC 12/17/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2015 4:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in recent Florida history, said Monday that ‘both sides” bore blame for Charlottesville.

    “There’s no moral authority on both sides,” Scott said on Monday,

    Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  2. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.
  3. Told not to look, Donald Trump looks at the solar eclipse

    National

    Of course he looked.

    Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m. Eastern time.

    The executive metaphor came quickly.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump view the solar eclipse from the Truman balcony of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 21, 2017. [Al Drago | New York Times]
  4. Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes.

    Secret service agents walk with President Donald Trump after a ceremony to welcome the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers on the South Lawn of the White House on June 12, 2017. [Olivier Douliery | Sipa USA via TNS]