Starting a New legacy – Seminole State College President Set to Retire
Seminole State College President, Dr. E. Ann McGee, will be stepping down from her position in August. The second president in the school’s history will end her nearly half a century in education.
Dr. McGee’s leadership at Seminole State College spans 22 years. During her time as president, the school has expanded from a single-campus community college into four campuses and has almost 30,000 students per year. Campuses are located in Sanford/Lake Mary, Oviedo, Altamonte Springs and Heathrow. Earlier this year, the school opened its $24 million student center on its Sanford/Lake Mary campus.
McGee said despite all of the school’s success, she is most proud of the successes of her graduates. She said their stories have been the most rewarding part of her time a president.
“My fondest memories are when students reconnect with me and tell me what a great experience they had at the college and how that has propelled them into success in their lives,” McGee said. “Those are my fondest memories. Just hearing about student success and knowing that we launched those lives.”
Seminole State College expanded the number of programs it offers. Students have the option of more than 200 degrees, including seven bachelor degree programs. In January, the school started offering bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN) to meet the need for approximately 1,000 new bachelorette-level nurses per year in the region, according to the school’s website.
“My goal in leaving the college was to leave it in the best condition it had ever been and I would hope that the next president realizes what a gem they are getting,” McGee said. “There are so many great projects on the horizon for the college. You have an amazing faculty and staff that are totally dedicated to student success. All you have to do is nurture them and propel us to the next level.”
The school’s $84 million budget is ninth largest of the institutions in the Florida College System. It is also the ninth largest employer in Seminole County and ranks 16th in the nation of community colleges for the number of associate degree graduates.
Dr. McGee will transition into the role of President Emerita, where she will provide assistance with fundraising for the school. Her duties will also be to help develop an Emeritus College for eligible retired faculty and administrators. McGee also said she hopes to write a book about her transition.
“The idea was that I could help transition the new president into their role. You’ve seen John Hitt and his 26 years at UCF and me with my 22 years at Seminole State – that’s unusual in this environment. Generally, a president stays anywhere from four and a half to seven years. There is a lot of stability in the role,” McGee said. “The other thing I would like to be involved in is setting up an Emeritus College to try and harness the energy and talents of our retirees.”
McGee said while she will still be involved with the campus on an as-needed basis. She said as long as students can continue successfully transitioning into their professional lives, her legacy will remain intact.
“The legacy that I hope I’m leaving is a living legacy that really lives through the successes of our students, faculty and staff,” McGee said. “I’m hoping that every day multiple someones achieve something new in life that they look back and know it’s because of the knowledge they acquired when they were a student at Seminole State College.”
Florida Colleges Focus on The Future
We caught up with Florida College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega and four of Florida’s college presidents to discuss how Florida’s colleges can help connect the right talent to businesses, both regionally and around the state. Click below to hear the full interviews.
Part One – Chancellor Pumariega: Meeting Florida’s Talent Pipeline Needs
“If you think about the students that are in our colleges today- we are actually beginning to train for the job of tomorrow.”
“The [Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida] Jobs 2030 report gives us a blueprint… [Florida Jobs] 2030 gives us a little bit of outlook- it says, here are these five emerging industries, how are we going to be ready? And it also gives us a little bit of the time to say how are we going to build K-12 partnerships, how are we going to make seamless transition from certificates that lead right into associates, and associates that lead right into baccalaureates, that meet the workforce. The [Florida Jobs] 2030 report, one, is data driven and that’s the best decision making we can do. Second, I think it has the outlook of Florida- Florida in 2030 not just Florida today.
If you think about the students that are in our colleges today- we are actually beginning to train for the job of tomorrow. That job pretty much doesn’t exist today… [Florida Jobs] 2030 report gives us that information, let’s us plan, let’s us be strategic and I think then align resources and investments to meet the talent pipeline of Florida for 2030.”
Chancellor Madeline Pumariega
We met with several presidents of Florida’s colleges and got their thoughts on the partnerships between Florida’s colleges and Florida’s business community.
Click the videos below to hear more.
Part Two: Chancellor Pumariega to Business Leaders- We Are Here
“We are here. We are ready to listen. We are ready to put together programs. And that’s where we’re partners in the work together.”
Chancellor Pumariega on attainment:
“If you’re a business thinking about coming to Florida, they know attainment. Because they want to know the adults in a community that are 25 and older- how many of them have a post-secondary credential. That means do they have a certificate, do they have an associates or they have a bachelors or beyond? That begins to give a business an idea of what their talent pipeline looks like. So attainment for a business that is looking to come to Florida or to grow in Florida is really important.”
Chancellor Pumariega to businesses:
“We are here. We are ready to listen. We are ready to put together programs. We need to consider how do we look at internships, paid internships and how do we create meaningful real life experiences for students, because that begins to address the whole student- not only the academic skills that they need, the business skills, but also those soft skills that we so often hear about. And that’s where we’re partners in the work together. But we work for you and we want to produce the right gradate and the right employee for you and the right leader. We are partners in this.”