Leadership and Excellence Part of Collegiate High Curriculum

PINELLAS COUNTY — There are many high school options in Pinellas County, but only St. Petersburg Collegiate High Schools offer students the opportunity to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree – all at no cost to the family.

If you are a Pinellas County resident and have a rising sophomore or junior, here’s great news! There is still time to learn more about this award-winning program at the St. Petersburg Collegiate High School – Tarpon Springs by registering for an informational webinar about the campus on March 23. Attendees can learn about SPCHS as well as how to apply.

A Florida School of Excellence, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School, has been labeled an “A” school since it opened at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus of St. Petersburg College in 2004. The charter high school has been a highly successful and much sought-after option in the community, so successful in fact, that a second campus was opened in 2019 in Tarpon Springs to accommodate more families, especially those in North County.

Many SPCHS graduates have earned prestigious honors. Counted among SPCHS alumni are a Gates Millennium Scholar, a Bank of America Leadership Program participant, and Ryan Nece Student Service Program members.

Starla Metz, SPC’s associate vice president of Accelerated Programs, said SPCHS provides students with a unique and innovative educational experience.

“Our mission is for our students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma, an Associate in Arts degree, and qualify for a Bright Futures Scholarship,” Metz said. “They study the same course material as SPC students, but they get the encouragement and support they need to achieve their dreams.”

In addition to academic excellence, another aspect of the program fosters leadership among its students. They learn business etiquette, are encouraged to seek leadership roles and complete a college leadership course, showcasing their portfolio at their Senior Capstone Event.

“This learning experience is so authentic and supportive,” Metz said. “Our students excel as learners and leaders.”

Erin Murphy, 19, was salutatorian of the SPCHS Class of 2020. Now at Florida State University, she is studying computer engineering in the honors program and is the first student-athlete to be selected as a Presidential Scholar at FSU. Erin has taken on leadership roles, especially in her beach volleyball team’s commitment to service hours, for which they won the 2020 Director’s Cup for Service.

She alone completed 125 hours of community service, dedicating her time to children, seniors and the homeless. Her mother, Roni Murphy of Pinellas County, partially credits her daughter’s proven leadership to the St. Petersburg Collegiate High Schools program.

“At SPCHS, they teach them what they need to know to courageously go forward and pursue their goals,” Murphy said.

The high school experience is not lost in this program. Students are a cohort, so they are part of a smaller community within the college campus, though they walk the same halls as SPC students and meet the same high expectations. There are many options for clubs and activities to broaden students’ knowledge and perspective, build confidence, cultivate leadership skills, and, best of all, have some fun and bond with their peers.

Program application deadlines are March 30 for entering sophomores and April 6 for entering juniors. The webinar is a requirement for admission, so anyone interested can register here for the March 23 webinar, which will begin at 6 p.m.

Please see the admission requirements, which must complete by the application deadline.

For more information, call Dr. Ian Call, principal, SPCHS Tarpon Springs Campus, at 727-791-5891 or email him at call.ian@spcollege.edu.

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