September 19, 2020
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The Florida Statutes

The 2003 Florida Statutes

Chapter 1004
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Section 1004.73, Florida Statutes 2003

1004.73  St. Petersburg College.--

(1)  LEGISLATIVE INTENT.--The Legislature intends to create an innovative means to increase access to baccalaureate degree level education in populous counties that are underserved by public baccalaureate degree granting institutions. This education is intended to address the state's workforce needs, especially the need for teachers, nurses, and business managers in agencies and firms that require expertise in technology.

(2)  ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE; MISSION; POLICIES.--St. Petersburg College shall immediately seek accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a baccalaureate degree granting college.

(a)  The primary mission of St. Petersburg College is to provide high-quality undergraduate education at an affordable price for students and the state. The purpose is to promote economic development by preparing people for occupations that require a bachelor's degree and are in demand by existing or emerging public and private employers in this state.

(b)  St. Petersburg College shall maintain the mission and policies of a Florida community college, including the open-door admissions policy and the authority to offer all programs consistent with a community college's authority.

(c)  St. Petersburg College shall maintain the distinction between the college and its university center. St. Petersburg College is limited to community college programs and to selected baccalaureate degree level programs that meet community needs and are authorized as provided by this section. The University Center may make available more diverse program offerings, but those programs are offered by a participating college or university and are not to be classified or funded as programs of St. Petersburg College.

(d)  The academic policies of the upper-division program at St. Petersburg College must be in accordance with policies of the State Board of Education.

(e)  Sections 1013.39 and 1013.82 apply to St. Petersburg College.


(a)  St. Petersburg College shall maintain separate records for students who are enrolled in courses classified in the upper division and lower division of a baccalaureate program, according to the statewide course numbering system. A student shall be reported as a community college student for enrollment in a lower-division course and as a baccalaureate degree program student for enrollment in an upper-division course.

(b)  The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College shall establish the level of tuition and other authorized student fees consistent with law and proviso in the General Appropriations Act.

1.  For each credit hour of enrollment in a certificate level course or lower-division level college credit course, tuition and fees must be within the range authorized in law and rule for a community college student at that level.

2.  For each credit hour of enrollment in an upper-division level course, matriculation and tuition fees must be in an amount established by the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College. However, fees for upper-division students must reflect the fact that the college does not incur the costs of major research programs. Therefore, the board of trustees shall establish fees for upper-division students within a range that is lower than the fees established for students at a state university but higher than the fees for community college students.

3.  Other mandatory fees and local fees must be at the same level for all lower-division students. For upper-division students, other mandatory fees and local fees must be at a level less than fees established for University of South Florida students, regardless of program enrollment or level. However, students in workforce development education courses maintain the authorized fee exemptions described in s. 1009.25 and may be exempt from local fees imposed by the board of trustees, at the board's discretion.

(4)  DEGREES.--

(a)  In addition to the certificates, diplomas, and degrees authorized in s. 1004.65, St. Petersburg College may offer selected baccalaureate degrees. Initially, the college may offer programs that lead to a baccalaureate degree in the following fields:

1.  Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This program must be designed to articulate with the associate in science degree in nursing. St. Petersburg College shall continue to offer the associate in science degree in nursing.

2.  Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.

3.  Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Special Education.

4.  Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education.

5.  Bachelor of Applied Science in fields selected by the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College. The board of trustees shall base the selection on an analysis of workforce needs and opportunities in the following counties: Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, and other counties approved by the Department of Education. For each program selected, St. Petersburg College must offer a related associate in science or associate in applied science degree program, and the baccalaureate degree level program must be designed to articulate fully with at least one associate in science degree program. The college is encouraged to develop articulation agreements for enrollment of graduates of related associate in applied science degree programs.

(b)  St. Petersburg College may offer courses that enable teachers to qualify for certification and recertification as required by law or rule.

(c)  St. Petersburg College may offer programs to provide opportunities for a person who holds a baccalaureate degree, but is not certified to teach, to obtain any additional courses required for teacher certification.

(d)  Master's degree level programs and doctoral programs may be provided by agreement with a college or university participating in the University Center of St. Petersburg College.

(e)  For those students living outside Pinellas County, St. Petersburg College shall recruit for the upper division only those students who have earned an associate degree. In recruiting upper-division students in Pasco and Hernando Counties, St. Petersburg College shall work cooperatively with Pasco-Hernando Community College and shall seek to offer courses and programs at Pasco-Hernando Community College when feasible. The nursing programs, in particular, must be conducted cooperatively, and programs at St. Petersburg College shall not conflict with Pasco-Hernando Community College's and the University of South Florida's cooperative nursing program.

(5)  BOARDS.--

(a)  The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College serves as the college's governing board. The Governor shall appoint members as provided in s. 1001.61, and the board has the duties and authorities granted in ss. 1001.63 and 1001.64 and by rules of the State Board of Education.

(b)  The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College may authorize direct-support organizations as authorized in ss. 1004.28 and 1004.70.

(c)  The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College may continue to award degrees, diplomas, and certificates as authorized for St. Petersburg Junior College, and in the name of St. Petersburg Junior College, until St. Petersburg College receives its accreditation.

(d)  A coordinating board shall assist the board of trustees in its deliberations concerning issues that affect the upper division of St. Petersburg College. The coordinating board consists of the President of the University of South Florida, the President of St. Petersburg College, the President of Pasco-Hernando Community College, and the chairs of the boards of trustees of those institutions.

(e)  Beginning 4 years after the college receives accreditation to offer baccalaureate degrees, the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College may determine additional programs to be offered, with the approval of the coordinating board. The determination must consider community needs and economic opportunities.

(f)  The coordinating board shall meet at the request of the President of the University of South Florida or the President of St. Petersburg College.

(g)  If the coordinating board cannot decide an issue of importance to the programs designed for upper-division students, the State Board of Education shall resolve the issue.


(a)  Employment at St. Petersburg College is governed by the same laws that govern community colleges, except that upper-division faculty are eligible for continuing contracts upon the completion of the fifth year of teaching.

(b)  Employee records for all personnel shall be maintained as required by s. 1012.81.

(7)  FACILITIES.--St. Petersburg College may request funding from the Public Education Capital Outlay and Debt Service Trust Fund as a community college and as a university. The municipalities in Pinellas County, the Board of County Commissioners of Pinellas County, and all other governmental entities are authorized to cooperate with the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College in establishing this institution. The acquisition and donation of lands, buildings, and equipment for the use of St. Petersburg College are authorized as a public purpose. The Board of County Commissioners of Pinellas County and all municipalities in Pinellas County may exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire lands, buildings, and equipment for the use of St. Petersburg College, regardless of whether such lands, buildings, and equipment are located in a community redevelopment area.


(a)  The Legislature intends to fund St. Petersburg College as a community college for its workforce development education programs and for its lower-division level college credit courses and programs.

(b)  The Legislature intends to fund St. Petersburg College as a baccalaureate degree level institution for its upper-division level courses and programs.

History.--s. 224, ch. 2002-387.

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