September President’s Update


Dear CF Family,

I’m happy to report that fall enrollment has been climbing ever so slightly and just last week moved into positive territory! As of today, FTE is up 0.2 percent, a welcome sign of good things to come. In addition, thanks to everyone who worked so hard to improve our fall to fall retention rate of first time in college degree seekers. The most recent rate on our performance funding model was 62.5%, which hurt us in receiving state funding. This fall, almost 72% of students returned! That’s nearly a 10 percentage point increase! Congratulations!

We welcomed the community to the Talent Center on September 14 for a ribbon cutting with the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership. The Talent Center is our enhanced partnership with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion and is located at the south end of the Enterprise Center. Students will find a wealth of resources from resume assistance to professional career opportunities, and all services are free of charge. The Talent Center has replaced Patriot Job Connection.

Students will also benefit from a new Title IIIA Strengthening Institutions Grant that we were just awarded. The college will receive $2,121,179 over five years to improve retention of first-year students, increase the success rate for key first-year classes, and increase four-year graduation and transfer rates. We will receive the first distribution of $437,841 October 1. With initial funding, we will hire project personnel, including additional advisors, enhance onsite and online tutoring, expand professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and design and implement an enhanced First-Year Experience course.

We also learned this month that we did not make the cut for the next round of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Prize. We were among 30 or so colleges that were under consideration for the top 10 in the nation. That places us in very good company nationally and I am very proud that we have been recognized for the great work we do transforming the lives of our students.

On College Planning Day, October 4, some areas of the college will participate in a law enforcement training exercise with first responders at the Ocala Campus. We will be using several methods of communication to inform the college and greater community that it is only a drill.

Also happening October 4 on the Ocala Campus is our annual Health Fair. Learn more and schedule your appointment by visiting the new CF Insider blog. The fair is October 5 at the Citrus Campus.

Please consider supporting the American Heart Association and join me at the Heart Walk this Saturday, October 1. Join a team, make a donation, or lace up your walking shoes. The walk will be held at Baseline Trailhead, 4225 S.E. 58th Ave., Ocala, and will begin at 8 a.m.

Thanks for all that you do to make CF the best that it can be!