Something for Everyone as Fall Classes Begin

Aug 27, 2015

by Cary McMullen | Publications editor

Before she arrived on campus to move into her residence hall, freshman Ashlee Tavernier expected “chaos.” Instead, she and her parents, Tom and Melissa Tavernier of Bradenton, were surprised and delighted to find a well-organized procedure that had her settled in her room before she knew it.

On Aug. 22, FSC faculty, staff, athletic teams, and ROTC cadets were all on hand to welcome first-year students and see that they were registered and promptly moved into their rooms. The “concierge” service has been refined to make it even more efficient, and by noon, residence hall rooms were filled with students and their families unpacking belongings.

“They had my stuff in the room within just a few minutes,” said a beaming Tavernier, a biology major on a pre-veterinary track.

As classes get underway this fall, it seems just about everyone at FSC has something to be excited about. The start of the 2015-2016 academic year will see the biggest enrollment ever, the opening of a state-of-the-art new business building, five new majors on campus, and a student center that has been converted from the former business building.

Tavernier was one of 704 freshmen from 41 states entering FSC this fall, the largest class ever. For the 2015-2016 year, the College expects to have about 2,250 undergraduates, a 6.4 percent increase over last year’s record enrollment. Administrators stress that the increase did not come at the expense of academic standards.

“What we're equally excited about is the academic quality has remained strong,” John Grundig, vice president for enrollment management, told The Ledger. “We set an all-time record last year for academic profile, and we’re continuing that track this year with the larger class.”

Tavernier’s roommate, Lily Archambault, of Auburn, Mass., said she chose FSC because she “loved the atmosphere.”

“The academics, the classes, all looked awesome,” said Archambault, a theatre arts major.

Four of the five new majors are under the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise: health care administration, sport business management, business and free enterprise, and political economy. Students in the fifth major, biotechnology, will take classes in a new laboratory in the Jack Berry Citrus Science Building.

In addition, exercise science takes the place of human movement and performance, and the first students have enrolled in the dance major introduced last year.

The Barnett School has settled into its new home, the gleaming and impressive Bill ’65 and Mary Ann Becker Building, a 41,000-square-foot, three-story glass and stone edifice that anchors the southeast corner of the campus, facing Lake Hollingsworth. The Becker Building features splendid classrooms and conference rooms, a tiered 75-seat lecture hall, and advanced technology infrastructure, giving it one of the fastest connectivity rates in the region. The centerpiece of the building is its simulated stock-trading floor, which has 24 video monitors and a 114-foot electronic ticker.

In a bonus for students and staff, the former home of the Barnett School, the Rogers Building, has been converted to a student center that includes the offices of the Dean of Students, Student Solutions, Community Living, the Center for Student Involvement, and the Student Government Association. It also includes two student lounges, one of which is a recreation center that is sure to be a hit with students, featuring game tables such as ping-pong and foosball, TVs, and tables and chairs for relaxing.