Checking a patient’s vital signs is one of the first skill sets taught to students in our paramedic, nursing, EMT and other health programs. Having a strong awareness and education about these vital signs provides a caretaker with the knowledge necessary to ensure that related health issues are addressed in a proper and timely manner. In a similar way, Palm Beach State College also closely monitors the vital signs of our community via needs assessments and other data-gathering methods. This information helps us determine the courses and programs that are needed to meet community needs. Providing a quick implementation of those courses and programs has been a focus at the College, despite the challenges of tighter funding and a sluggish economy.
New and returning students flocking to our campuses this fall are finding clear signs that the College is listening and responding. Perhaps most dramatic is the opening of the new Center for Bachelor’s Programs, an extraordinary facility on the Lake Worth campus that houses the bachelor’s degree programs and the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College. Enrollment in the College’s bachelor’s degree programs has grown steadily since the initial program began three years ago, with a 32 percent gain recorded this summer. The Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College is establishing its legacy by providing opportunities for students to experience a more challenging and rigorous curriculum while completing the associate degree. Additionally, new Associate in Science degree programs in Ophthalmic Medical Technology, Business Entrepreneurship and Addiction Studies are launching this fall, reflecting our community’s need for skilled professionals and our students’ need for high-demand career training.
One of our greatest challenges is to continue to offer new programs and facilities to meet growing needs even as state funding is shrinking. While students nationwide have increasingly shouldered the cost of their education in recent years, Palm Beach State’s tuition still ranks the ninth lowest in the nation among four-year public colleges, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability & Transparency Center. We strive to expend state appropriations with laser-like precision in all areas of college operation so that we can continue to provide access to the affordable, high-quality education that our community has come to expect and need. Also, we work together with community and business partners to improve learning outcomes for our students and graduates.
In this issue, you will read about some of the success stories that we experience: small business owners, military veterans, students who overcome adversities to become independent professionals and more. These are the stories that invigorate us, and we hope they will inspire you.
Thank you for your interest and critical support of the College.
Dennis P. Gallon, Ph.D.