Regional Strategy for Higher Ed

The presidents at USF, HCC, PHCC and SPC form consortium to expand the region’s educated workforce.


Higher ed leaders, (l-r) Ken Atwater, president Hillsborough Comm. College; Katherine M. Johnson, president Pasco-Hernando Comm.

College; William D. Law, president St. Petersburg College; and Judy Genshaft, president University of South Florida. Photo: Aimee

Blodgett | USF News


From USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2011) – Tampa Bay’s leading public institutions of higher learning are joining forces in an unprecedented proactive plan of cooperation to enhance educational opportunities for students and provide a more competitive workforce for the region.


The University of South Florida, Hillsborough Community College, Pasco-Hernando Community College and St. Petersburg College have become consortium partners to address the increasing demand for higher education and the need for more highly skilled professionals.


USF President Judy Genshaft said the agreement provides a profound benefit for students in the region, and ultimately the economy by graduating talented and educated students who will join a regional workforce.


Ken Atwater, president of Hillsborough Community College, called the agreement “a win-win for all of us.”


Genshaft and Atwater were joined at the ceremonial signing by Katherine M. Johnson, president of Pasco-Hernando Community College, and William D. Law, president of St. Petersburg College. The event took place at USF’s Patel School for Global Solutions.


The consortium partners will bring their programs into greater alignment to help increase transfers from community colleges to the university or other four-year programs within the consortium and help reduce the time it takes to earn associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.


Innovative steps being taken to promote expanded access for regional students include:


•  guaranteed admission to the university for the Associate of Arts (AA) graduates and the Associate of Science (AS) graduates consistent with statewide articulation policy and AS-to-BS agreements;


•  concurrent enrollment status for selected community/state college students with university advisors assigned to these students;


•  preferential admission to selective upper-division programs at the university for graduates from consortium partners; and


•  expansion of financial aid resources to support two-plus-two students.


The consortium is also looking into possible joint staffing opportunities for faculty, student services and other key personnel as well as capturing best practices and creative thinking from each of the partners to make the project successful.