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Holiday Mailbox Decorating

Landscape Matters is holding a class on “Holiday Mailbox Decorating, Wednesday, November 30, at 10 a.m. at the Yulee Extension Office located at 86026 Pages Dairy Road.

UF/IFAS Nassau Master Gardener Carol Ann Atwood and avid holiday decorator Sylvie Baxter will conduct a Landscape Matters class on how to make your mailbox “holiday ready” using cuttings from your own yard like magnolia, spruce, pine, palmetto, pittosporum, palms, holly with berries, etc. and ornamental decor. They will decorate two mailboxes and participants will have an opportunity to win one for their own mailbox! The session takes place at the Yulee Extension office on Pages Dairy Road, beginning at 10 am.

For more information, see the Extension website at http://nassau.ifas.ufl.edu/horticulture/landmatters/landmatters.html, or contact the Extension office at 530-6350. Master Gardeners are ​on phone duty Fridays, from 10 am until 2 pm at 530-6350, press “1” for the Yulee Extension office

College Goal Sunday Makes Transition to College Easier

Jacksonville, FL – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ), in partnership with the University of North Florida, Edward Waters College, Duval County Public Schools, the Nassau County School District, Year Up Jacksonville and RealSense, a United Way-led coalition, is hosting College Goal Sunday, a free event that helps college-bound students and their parents or guardians complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

College Goal Sunday takes place Sunday, November 6, 2016, from 1-4 p.m. at both the FSCJ Advanced Technology Center, located on FSCJ Downtown Campus, and the FSCJ Betty P. Cook Nassau Center.

This annual event provides free, in-person, financial aid guidance to help students and parents prepare for a smooth transition from high school to college. Students who attend College Goal Sunday also have the opportunity to enter for a chance toreceive scholarship money. Participating colleges and universities are giving away more than $20,000 in scholarships.

The addresses for each location are listed below:

FSCJ Advanced Technology Center
(next to Downtown Campus, between Pearl and Broad streets)
401 W. State Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

FSCJ Betty P. Cook Nassau Center
(just east of I-95 off of SR A1A)
76346 William Burgess Blvd., Yulee, FL 32097

Professional financial aid staff and counselors will be on hand at both locations to offer free help in all aspects of the application process. In order to complete the FAFSA, parents and students should bring the following:
*Social Security number, driver’s license or alien registration card
*2015 IRS 1040 or latest tax return and W-2 statements
*Federal Student Aid ID (Don’t have one? Create one at fsaid.ed.gov.)

For more information, visit http://www.collegegoalsundayfl.org.

When do They Close the Bridges?

I was curious at what speed the winds have to reach before emergency officials close the bridges in Nassau County.

Here it the answer I received from Nassau County Emergency Management:

Bridges are closed once tropical storm force winds (TSFW) are reached. TSFW are considered to be 39 MPH sustained. The way sustained winds are determined is by taking a one minute average wind speed reading.

Nassau EM remotely monitors wind speeds on the Thomas Shave Bridge. Once winds approach TSFW, they will be confirmed by personnel on the ground.

The best way to be kept in the loop and be notified of a bridge closure is to register for Citizen Alerts through the Nassau EM webpage or look for updates on their facebook page.

FSCJ Receives Money For Needs-based Nursing Scholarship

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) was awarded a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) which will provide scholarships for disadvantaged full-time students in the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Nursing degree program.

In this first year, FSCJ was awarded $647,800 to support 50 scholarships for nursing students who are in need of financial assistance. The scholarship will provide for books, uniforms and other incidentals incurred while completing the 16-month program. The full grant total has the potential to reach over $2.5 million and assist 200 nursing students to achieve their A.S. degree.

FSCJ is committed to supporting the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program to increase the number of graduates practicing in primary care, promote enrollment and retention of full-time students from disadvantaged backgrounds including students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and augment the number of graduates working in medically underserved communities. The SDS project will take a multi-level approach to helping local educationally and economically disadvantaged residents overcome the obstacles they face when entering and completing the A.S. in Nursing program.

The project will meet the following objectives:
* Annually provide 100 underrepresented and disadvantaged pre-college students nursing career awareness and SDS outreach.
* Maintain an annual 75% retention rate for SDS participants through academic strengthening and retention services.
* SDS participants will reach a 90% pass rate on a competency examination addressing the health care needs and nursing implications for underrepresented populations.
* By the end of year four, at least 50% of licensed (successfully passed NCLEX-RN) SDS students will indicate they have obtained employment in a primary care setting and/or medically underserved area.
* Support the retention and graduation of disadvantaged A.S. in Nursing students by awarding 50 scholarships annually.

“By combining FSCJ’s vast nursing education resources with those of Duval and Nassau counties’ largest hospitals and health care organizations, local pre-college youth outreach groups and community organizations, we are well-equipped to provide a comprehensive recruitment and retention program for students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds,” said Dean of Nursing Dr. Therese Ditto. “We are grateful for the HRSA’s support and look forward to the impact it will have on our students and the quality of health care available for our community.”

The A.S. in Nursing is nationally accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). For further information, click HERE.

About FSCJ
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is a public, nonprofit higher education institution that offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs to meet the education and training needs of more than 50,000 students per year.

FSCJ Connects Job Seekers with Employers

Florida State College at Jacksonville’s (FSCJ) FL Trade Grant program invites current and prospective students and job seekers to the Manufacturing Job Fair on Tuesday, July 12.

For those who already have the education and training to meet the needs for a manufacturing career, potential employers will be available to discuss their open positions.

For anyone interested in beginning a career in the manufacturing field, FSCJ representatives will be available to share information and answer questions on the certifications and degrees offered through the College. From the nationally recognized OSHA 30-Hour General Industry certification to an Associate in Science (A.S.) in Engineering Technology, FSCJ can help prepare individuals for high-demand jobs in manufacturing.

Companies attending the Job Fair include, but are not limited:

* Ameri-Force
* Anheuser-Busch MCC
* Gerdau
* Johns Manville
* Kelly Services
* Lee & Cates Glass/Flat Glass Distributors
* Medtronic
* Oldcastle Coastal
* Safariland

FSCJ is partnering with the First Coast Manufacturers Association and Career Source of Northeast Florida to execute this Job Fair which is funded in whole/or in part by a $15,000,000 TAACCCT grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

To learn more about FSCJ’s Florida Trade Grant program, visit FSCJ’s website.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
WHERE: Florida State College at Jacksonville-Advanced Technology Center, Rooms T140-141, 401 W. State Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

TED Talk Speakers Announced for TEDxFSCJ

TEDxFSCJ has revealed the presenters for its upcoming annual October event, which aims to elevate locally driven ideas.

TEDxFSCJ is a motivating one-day event inspired by TED and produced by a diverse group of FSCJ students, faculty and staff. This year’s theme of “Engage” challenges attendees to engage with ideas, social issues and different local Jacksonville communities.

TEDxFSCJ will feature talks from 10 speakers who directly or indirectly impact FSCJ and the Jacksonville community. Their presentations will convey thoughts and ideas that educate, ignite passion and leave a lasting impression. This year’s speakers and topics include:
* Ranna Abduljawad – “Raising a Muslim Daughter in America”
* Allishia Bauman – “Paying Positivity Forward with #withlovejax”
* Jen Deane – “Mutual Rehabilitation: Inmates and Shelter Dogs Socializing Each Other”
* Jessica Gregory – “Destigmatizing the Mentally Ill”
* Rebecca Levy – “The Importance of Dance in the Community”
* Marquiese Mervin – “The Importance of Diversity in Arts Education”
* Emily Michael – “The Confluence of Imagination and the Body”
* Travis Pinckney – “Moving from At-Risk to Action”
* Rachel Rippey – “Changing the Cycle of Systemic Exclusion of People with Disabilities”
* Jared Rypkema – “The Role of Storytelling in the Community”

Click HERE to to view the full bios of this year’s TEDxFSCJ speakers. For more information, visit tedxfscj.com.

WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: Florida State College at Jacksonville-Downtown Campus, 101 W. State Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TED or Instagram at instagram.com/ted.

FSCJ CEFE Participants Awarded at 37th Annual Governor’s Awards

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Six of Florida State College at Jacksonville’s (FSCJ) Center on Economic and Financial Education (CEFE) workshop participants were awarded at the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Economics Program (GAP).

On May 20, the Florida Council on Economic Education (FCEE), which funds FSCJ’s CEFE professional development program, recognized 21 of the state’s most outstanding teachers for their creativity in presenting lessons in economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship at the event held in Orlando. The six area teachers who have completed professional development courses through FSCJ’s CEFE won a total of seven awards.

The CEFE aims to prepare and empower K-12 teachers to vest students with economic knowledge and financial skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century. FSCJ’s CEFE participants took home awards in first, second and third place. These award winners routinely attend CEFE workshops under the encouragement of CEFE Director Susan Reilly.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of our CEFE innovators representing Northeast Florida,” said CEFE Director Susan Reilly. “They have truly gone above and beyond to demonstrate leadership in financial literacy and economic education in their classrooms.”

Teachers were judged based on submissions of original lesson plans and classroom activities. Winners received cash prizes, trophies and certificates of achievement. Terry Parker High School teacher Pat Curran was named the Charles C. Harper Economic Educator of the Year. The Duval County economics instructor was also a winner at the national 1995 Council for Economic Education Conference.

Clay County’s Dee Stan Harris was honored as ‘Rookie of the Year’. The Grove Park Elementary School gifted teacher earned a trip to the 55th Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference. Harris also won first place in the K-8 category ‘Out of the Box’ for his project “Economics of Gardening.”

Mandarin High School teacher Eric Field took home first place in the high school category ‘Econ 101’ for his project “Would You Like Another Kiss? Thinking at the Margin.” The Duval County teacher gave students Hershey’s Kisses to teach them about marginal analysis.

Additional award winners include St. Johns County Teacher Nancy Hagopian, who won second place in K-8 category “Out of the Box”; Duval County teacher Kesha Walton, who came in third place in the “Entrepreneurship” high school category; and Orange County educator Rachel Smith, who placed second in the same category.

About the Florida Council on Economic Education
The mission of the FCEE is to prepare Florida’s young people for personal and financial success through educational programs in economics, the free enterprise system and personal financial literacy so that they become productive members of the workforce, responsible consumers and wise investors. The FCEE is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that is funded by leading corporations and individuals throughout the state.

The FCEE is an affiliate of the Council for Economic Education (CEE). The CEE trains educators to teach young people a real-world understanding of economics and personal finance so that they will be able to make informed and responsible choices throughout their lives as consumers, savers, investors, citizens and participants in the global economy.

FSCJ Joins Achieving the Dream Network to Improve Student Success

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) announced it is one of over 200 community colleges throughout the country to be selected to join Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national community college network dedicated to improving student success. ATD acts as a catalyst to help colleges strengthen and build their capacity to ensure that more students complete postsecondary education, giving them greater opportunity for economic success.

ATD’s capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment allow colleges to pinpoint areas of strength and opportunities for improvement across key institutional areas such as leadership and vision, teaching and learning, and data and technology. ATD coaches mentor member colleges, providing coordinated, personalized advice to help build proficiencies, align student success efforts and support change in identified areas of need.

“We are honored to join Achieving the Dream’s exclusive network to help drive change and success for our students,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia A. Bioteau. “Their decade of experience will help strengthen our teaching and learning initiatives, deepen our ability to collect and analyze data and construct strategic partnerships, culminating in improved student success, higher retention and completion rates and the closure of achievement gaps.”

Last week, an FSCJ leadership team represented FSCJ at the ATD Cohort Kickoff Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. They joined 11 other kickoff teams from colleges across the nation to collectively and collaboratively develop processes for transformative institutional improvement. Working alongside ATD leadership and data coaches, teams analyzed their respective college’s strengths, challenges and opportunities for advancement. Using the identified key student success priorities and areas of opportunity, FSCJ’s team is now working toward developing and implementing a strategy to achieve their established goals.

About Achieving the Dream
Achieving the Dream, Inc. www.achievingthedream.org (ATD) is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia – helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

FSCJ Opens Digital Resources Reducing Student Costs

Jacksonville, FL – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is one of only two colleges in Florida that has been awarded a grant to create degree programs using high-quality open educational resources (OER). The initiative, which involves 38 community colleges in 13 states, is designed to help remove financial roadblocks that can derail students’ progress and spur improvements that will increase the likelihood of college completion.

The annual costs of textbooks are about $1,300 per year for a full-time community college student-roughly a third of the cost of an associate degree. Research shows this cost is a significant barrier to college completion. The OER Degree initiative will create a library of digital, open courses available to other institutions and the public at large.

Using digital and interactive OERs such as open courseware allows faculty to continue to teach students in engaging and dynamic ways and invite students to become more actively involved in their own learning. The initiative’s requirement to create entire degree programs using OER also will trigger a careful re-examination of course content and sequencing to build up-to-date, cohesive degree programs.

“We are excited to begin the review and redesign of select online programs to allow us to offer resources that will make receiving a college education more affordable for our students,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “Our faculty, administrators and program managers will work collaboratively to develop advanced, customized content that complements the learning style of digital learners and provides the most comprehensive curriculum to prepare students for career opportunities and furthering their education.”

The college plans to roll out the following degrees in an OER format by the end of the grant.

1. Associate in Arts in General Studies
2. Associate in Science in Human Services

Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national community college reform network, is managing the new OER Degree initiative on behalf of a consortium of investors that includes the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, the Shelter Hill Foundation and the Speedwell Foundation.

At the completion of the initiative, all approved OER courses will be available through a comprehensive, easily accessible online platform to encourage OER adoption even at non-participating institutions.

About Achieving the Dream
Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.

About FSCJ
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is a public, nonprofit higher education institution that offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs to meet the education and training needs of more than 50,000 students per year.

Troubleshooting Lawn Problems

On June 20 at 10:00 am, Master Gardener Nelson Peterson will conduct a Landscape Matters class on troubleshooting problems that are obstacles to a healthy lawn. The session will take place at the UF/IFAS Nassau County Yulee Extension office, on Pages Dairy Road.

Nelson will discuss varieties of turf and considerations in selecting the best grass for your landscape and lawn maintenance practices. Also discussed will be the weeds that appear in our turf and proper response and treatment. Class is free and open to the public.

For more information, see the Extension website at: http://nassau.ifas.ufl.edu/horticulture/landmatters/landmatters.html, or call the Extension office at 530-6350. Master Gardeners are on office duty Fridays, from 10 am until 2 pm at 530-6350. Press ‘1’ for the Yulee office.

FSCJ Offers Class in Life Strategies at the Barnabas Center

YULEE, FL – The FSCJ Betty P. Cook Nassau Center is offering a course in Strategies for Success (SLS1103) at the Barnabas Center, 1303 Jasmine St., Suite 101, Fernandina Beach, for the fall semester.

This course is designed to assist students in developing skills that will help them succeed in college, career and life. Basic academic success skills which may be applied in your career or life will be emphasized. Other topics covered include problem solving, communication skills (written and verbal), work ethic, introduction to information literacy, setting goals and identifying priorities.

If you are considering a return to school or just need to learn to better prioritize and brush up on your skills for life in general, this is the class for you. Class will meet on Thursdays from 5:30-6:45 p.m. starting August 24 through December 9, 2016.

You may register at fscj.edu, or call 548-4432 for more information or to speak to an advisor. The Betty P. Cook Nassau Center is located at 76346 William Burgess Boulevard, Yulee, Florida.

FSCJ Announces College Preparation Course for High School Students

Florida State College at Jacksonville’s College Reach-Out Program (CROP) is now accepting applications for the summer Gaining Resources and Developing Skills (GRADS) college preparation session. Parents looking to get additional help for students to prepare them beyond high school, should apply today. GRADS provides rising sophomore, junior and senior students with SAT/ACT prep and career/life skills needed for educational success.

The session runs from June 20-July 27, 2016, and takes place at FSCJ Kent Campus. Spaces for the program are limited, so parents are encouraged to enroll their students today.

Students will participate in career exploration sessions, practice academic skills, learn financial literacy and perform community service activities to help equip them with the tools necessary for an easy transition into postsecondary life.

Other activities students will enjoy include structured time management, career panels, cultural events, educational/career tours and a talent/award ceremony. Participants will have transportation, supplies and meals provided to them for all weekly sessions.

For more information, contact Courtney Gordon at (904) 632-3175.

The GRADS orientation for students and parents will take place on June 18, 2016.

WHEN: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Orientation: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Workshop: June 20, 2016 – July 27, 2016, from 7:30 a.m. – noon
WHERE: Florida State College at Jacksonville-Kent Campus, F-128
3939 Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32205