Cookie Consent

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Cookie preferences
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Next Steps for USF St. Petersburg Campus' Academic Clusters

June 30, 2021


Higher Education
Partner News

Next Steps for USF St. Petersburg Campus' Academic Clusters

Earlier this week, community leaders joined members of the Pinellas Legislative Delegation and key members of USF's leadership team for a conversation about proposed academic clusters for the USF St. Petersburg campus. The academic clusters, identified in November 2020 as a way to promote the campus’ distinctive identity, grow the student body and support economic growth, include: Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences, Technology and Sustainability, STEM Education, Visual and Performing Arts, Blue/Green Business, and Health Sciences.

In late 2020, The Downtown Partnership hosted virtual community conversations with industry leaders from each of the chosen academic clusters to identify innovative partnerships that could help ensure students are adequately prepared for the workforce. Ideas generated during this process included expanded internships provided by community partners, residency programs where working professionals could have classroom time with students, and philanthropic support from large organizations in the community to establish continuous funding for programs.

The most recent meeting served as an opportunity to update community leaders about the work that had been done since those discussions as well as to gather feedback and share ideas on how the academic cluster programs could be improved. Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Ben Diamond were present to offer their guidance and solicit feedback from the group.

The group suggested holding ongoing focus group sessions with community leaders and organizations in St. Petersburg to continue working toward shared solutions. In addition, academic leaders representing each cluster shared some proposed next steps, which you can see detailed below.

Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences

  1. Flood hub opportunity connected to degree programs is being explored
  2. Pursuing infrastructure investment for campus and college facilities
  3. Pursuing investment in human resources to support the center of excellence
  4. Expanding efforts to engage the community in understanding the potential for applied science and new jobs resulting from an expanded academic program
  5. In conversation with College of Engineering regarding environmental engineering coming to St. Petersburg


  1. Considering programs in AI related to environmental issues
  2. In conversation with College of Engineering about applied engineering coming to St. Petersburg
  3. Plan to create a tuition refund program based on student employment post-graduation
  4. Planning for MBA in risk management focused on national disasters
  5. Planning for MS in sustainable supply chain and logistics
  6. Fintech focus built off Finance program strengths is a priority

STEM Education

  1. STEM advisory board of teachers/admin from local schools to review curriculum in place
  2. Developing an integrated center of excellence in STEM education
  3. Will offer a corporate training certification and MS level program in STEM Educational Leadership and consider adding a doctoral program
  4. Exploring options for non-admitted students to be admitted in spring with credits
  5. Developing a STEM certificate and academic badges for existing teachers
  6. Partnerships with youth centered nonprofits to recruit and support STEM centered education will include expanding efforts with the Girl Scouts and the Science Festival

Health Sciences

  1. Expanding accelerated nursing program to cohort of 50
  2. Exploring offering a psych-based mental health practitioners’ program, and a neo-natal nursing program with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  3. Geriatric Nursing, Respiratory Therapists, OT and PT are all in great demand and will be addressed over time
  4. Expanding access to additional clinical sites in Pinellas County
  5. Exploring private sector interest in funding lab space and providing other resources to meet health care workforce needs

Visual and Performing Arts

  1. Adding an art industry & entrepreneurship class with College of Business
  2. School of Architecture is bringing courses to St. Petersburg
  3. Adding a branch of the Florida Center for Community Design in St. Petersburg
  4. Adding animation courses to St. Petersburg campus
  5. Actively working to hire a faculty member with joint appointment between the College of Marine Science and College of Arts to teach graphical data presentation
  6. Locating an image gallery of art in St. Petersburg
  7. Exploring partnerships to bring performing arts (theater, music and dance) to St. Petersburg
  8. Finishing renovation of Harbor Hall as the arts center for campus
  9. Exploring community partnerships to advocate for additional public sector support for art and moving Graphic Studio, performing arts or other assets to St. Pete

Share This Post

Higher Education
Partner News

Stay Up-to-Date

Join Our Newsletter!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.