AVON PARK - It was only a year and a half ago that South Florida Community College became South Florida State College with a new logo and expanded mission that included its first baccalaureate degree.
With more four-year degree programs and new college credit certificate programs under development, the college's role in the community is continuingly evolving.
SFSC President Thomas Leitzel said Friday the college wants to set a long-term vision for what the college will become.
The process is just getting started and will involve various groups that will look at what the college will become and then plot a vision, he said.
"Part of that process that is in motion for us is positioning statements in helping us brand our institution," Leitzel said. As we do that, it helps us craft our messages that will relate back to various things such as advertising."
It's how the college wants to come across with a "uniform and consistent message of what the college is and its involvement in the future growth of our communities," he said.
There is no rush in this, Leitzel stressed.
The first step was making sure the college's Board of Trustees endorsed the effort, he said, and the board will be involved in many more opportunities to engage in those discussions.
"There will be a planned sequence of activities and events that allows all constituencies, internal and some external, to be involved in vision setting for the institution," Leitzel said.
In two years the college will be 50 years old, he said, and setting a direction for the college for its next half century is very important because the college had a very successful first 50 years.
"Now I think it is the perfect time in the college's history just to say, 'where do you want to go from here,'" he said. "It's not to force change, but to examine what is our long-term vision of leading through our educational platforms."
After the name change to South Florida State College, the institution's first baccalaureate program, a bachelor's in applied science in supervision and management, started in the fall of 2012 with about 40 students. Enrollment in the program doubled to about 80 students in the 2013 fall semester.
In the fall of 2014 the college will start a bachelor's of science in nursing program and bachelor's of science in elementary education program.
South Florida State College was established as South Florida Junior College in 1965 by the Florida Legislature and became South Florida Community College in 1984.