Campus & Community

PBSC to offer business certificate in Riviera Beach

Among those on hand for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding were: Dr. Tunjarnika Coleman-Ferrell, provost and dean of student services at the PBSC Palm Beach Gardens campus; PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D.; Councilwoman Dr. Julia Botel; Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson, Mayor Ronnie Felder and Councilwoman Shirley Lanier.

Palm Beach State College will begin offering the courses for its Business Specialist College Credit Certificate at the Riviera Beach Public Works Center in January as part of a new initiative to enhance access to short-term educational training for the city’s residents.

Leaders from PBSC and the city recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding sealing the partnership. Through the initiative, Riviera Beach residents can take the first two courses from 6:30 to 9:15 p.m. on Mondays (Introduction to Business) and Tuesdays (Microcomputer Applications) for the spring term. The remaining two courses for the 12-credit hour program will be offered in the summer and fall terms. CareerSource Palm Beach County also is a partner in the initiative, which means that residents who qualify may be able to get a grant from the agency for training assistance.

“This is a project I have worked on ever since I joined the Council, and I am delighted that PBSC has been so cooperative in this first-time ever opportunity for Riviera Beach residents to receive higher education credits right here in our own community,’’ said Councilwoman Dr. Julia Botel. “It will make meaningful jobs and careers a reality for so many who need them.  I am especially proud that the initiative came from Riviera Beach’s business community through our Workforce Development Task Force that identified what businesses needed in prospective employees.”

Dr. Tunjarnika Coleman-Ferrell, provost and dean of student services at the Palm Beach Gardens campus and a Riviera Beach native, assembled a team of staff and faculty to finalize the course offerings in the city. It was led by Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Linda Lebile.

“Community partnership is key to bringing educational opportunities and advanced credentialing to constituents who have been marginalized. PBSC is an open access institution with five campuses, but we realize that some individuals in our community still face transportation issues and other barriers to education,’’ Coleman-Ferrell said. “The partnership will provide additional access for residents who need it. This is a momentous occasion because it marks the beginning of a relationship and collaboration, connecting the campus to the community and promoting higher education for all.”

Individuals interested in pursuing the Business Specialist College Credit Certificate are only required to have a high school diploma or GED. They will earn a credential that could help them land a new job or advance in their career. Lebile said the program teaches key business concepts, but also could be just the beginning for residents who decide to pursue additional education at the College. “We’re hoping this will motivate the students to complete their education at Palm Beach State,’’ she said.

PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D., whose focuses include boosting community relations and engagement, applauded the team. “I’m pleased to lead an institution of passionate staff and faculty who have been keeping their finger on the pulse of our community to determine what more we can do to help people achieve an education.”

An information session is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Riviera Beach Public Works Center training room, 1481 W. 15th Street. For more information, please contact PBSC Student Development Advisor Mary Moffett at 561-207-5246.

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