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SPC joins community leaders to examine transportation barriers for students

Approximately 69 percent of St. Petersburg College’s (SPC) diverse student population of more than 47,000 students, ranging from 16 to 95 years old, have low to moderate income. Low-
income students often face barriers to success, including transportation.

The Kresge Foundation awarded SPC a $50,000 planning grant for Advancing Student
Transportation Solutions to understand student transportation challenges and how those
barriers affect their ability to continue their education.

This grant will allow SPC to address the need for equity and access in local transit through
support of the St. Pete Campus Connect Partnership (SPCCP). This task force of community
partners include the City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Pinellas
Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the LEAP Tampa Bay College Access Network, Community
Foundation of Tampa Bay and Forward Pinellas.

“The average college student is met with many challenges before entering the classroom, which
often includes transportation,” said SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams. “Through the generous
support of The Kresge Foundation and the opportunity to collaborate with SPCCP, we’re looking
forward to examining how we can strengthen our communities through improved access to
higher education.”

The task force will work together to evaluate transit access for SPC students and residents, with
specific emphasis on the four learning sites/campuses located in the City of St. Petersburg.
Utilizing shared resources and engaging current, past and potential students, the project
funding will support a consultant to evaluate current and past initiatives, conduct surveys and
focus groups and develop recommendations for solutions. This collaborative effort will help
inform and develop a plan for alternative transportation solutions based on the voice of the

About St Petersburg College
St. Petersburg College alumni rank first in the state of Florida for possessing the most valuable
job skills among two-year colleges. Founded in 1927, SPC is Florida’s first two-year college and
the first to offer bachelor’s degrees. We offer more than 110 degree and certificate programs,
including many high-demand, high-skill, industry-recognized workforce certifications. Our
career-focused curriculum is created with input from industry experts to give students the skills
they need to meet the needs of today’s employers. Our new Pathways Program gives students a
clear roadmap to success to ensure they are taking the right courses – in the right sequence – to meet their goals.

About Kresge
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills
that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in
America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice.
Using a full array of grant, loan and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160
million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Rita Farlow, Executive Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, 727-302-6526 or Marilyn Shaw, PR/Communications Coordinator, 727-341-4712.

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