C4, the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast, anticipates a productive 2017 with an expanded focus on student enrichment, greater collaboration, and additional support from another regional foundation, the Manatee Community Foundation.
In January 2016, the Consortium announced the support of a local foundation partnership, including the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The Consortium appointed Dr. Laurey T. Stryker, former chancellor of USF Sarasota-Manatee, as its initiative manager.
Together, the local foundations are funding an expanded plan for the upcoming year with the help of their newest partner, the Manatee Community Foundation.
“The Manatee Community Foundation is so pleased to become a new funding partner for the C4 initiative, supporting the overall partnership and new talent connector tool,” says Susie Bowie, executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation. “With our donors’ history of funding higher education and our board’s passion for effective collaborations, this is a great fit.”
With this announcement comes several initiatives on the horizon for 2017:
• Maximize benefits to both students and the surrounding community by increasing academic opportunities and refining and expanding the cross-registration process. Last year, 16 students participated in cross-registration. In spring 2017, an expected 31 students will participate.
• Encourage a spirit of collaboration among students in regard to student life, campus recreational facilities, special activities and campus clubs. The Ringling monthly underground events are promoted across the campuses and students now dominate the attendance.
• Galvanize collaboration among faculty in areas related to research, applications for private and public grants, conference participation and involvement in campus events in which faculty from different colleges possess shared interests. The prestigious five-year Mellon Foundation Award supporting the arts and humanities faculty collaboration is an early example of the Consortium’s potential.
• Introduce expanded career and internship opportunities. Under this new program, career advisors from among the C4 members will work together to place students into internship and career opportunities. Initiate a web-driven “talent-connector tool” to share internship and job opportunities that will benefit area employers. Programs like the October, 2016 Gulf Coast CEO Forum “Mind the Gap” are bringing together students and business leaders to connect student talent with the career opportunities in the region.
• Produce a cohesive identity through a comprehensive branding effort that includes a new website, social media presence and a recognizable logo and tag line to be used on Consortium promotional materials. The Consortium engaged Ringling College of Art and Design students to develop their brand.
Formed three years ago and comprised of New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, FSU/The Ringling and Eckerd College. The Consortium is a higher education collaborative that broadens educational experiences through unique but complementary programs, services and philosophies. This shared community cultivates the pursuit of knowledge and establishes our region as a destination for academic excellence.