• Emily Gerber, of Odessa, was selected to the spring Dean’s List at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Gerber is majoring in conservation biology.
• Andrew Oquendo, of Odessa, has been named to the spring Dean’s List at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. Oquendo is pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy.
• Amy Stanton, of Odessa, was named to the summer President’s List at Georgia College in Milledgeville.
MOSI in a Box
MOSI is offering live, virtual hands-on, inquiry-based, STEAM activities and interactive Q&As, available until Dec. 31, for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and their families.
There are three programs offered through Zoom:
- Planetary Explorers: Choose a mission, design spacecraft and follow in the footsteps of astronauts, engineers and scientists.
- Mission Health: A Look at the Human Body: Explore the mechanics of bones, muscles, lungs and the heart
- Forensic Investigators: Gather clues, analyze evidence and make observations to solve a crime
Each program is one hour.
For cost and registration, call (813) 987-6000, or visit MOSI.org.
Gift card drive
United Way of Pasco is hosting a Stuff the Bus Gift Card Drive for Teachers.
Those interested can donate a preloaded gift card from a favorite school supplies retailer, to be delivered to Pasco County school teachers.
Mail gift cards to the United Way of Pasco, 17230 Camelot Court, Land O’ Lakes FL 34638.
Donations also can be made online at UnitedWayPasco.org/stuff-the-bus-2020.
Saint Leo keeps test scores optional
As many high school students are scrambling because of the cancellation of SAT and ACT college admissions testing, Saint Leo University leaders are reassuring them that they still will be able earn a college degree, according to a school news release.
Since 2018, Saint Leo has made the SAT/ACT scores fully optional as part of the admissions process for prospective students. The university adopted a holistic approach to admissions and looks at the whole student experience, rather than just their test scores.
“With universities across the state of Florida still requiring students to submit standardized test scores for admissions or scholarship purposes, we want to reassure students that they do not need to submit these scores for Saint Leo University,” said Dr. Senthil Kumar, vice president for Strategic Enrollment Management.
“We pride ourselves on making a Catholic, private University experience affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds,” Kumar continued. “During this pandemic, students should not need to be worrying about the potential impact that these tests have on their future.”
Instead of test scores, Saint Leo looks at a high school student’s unweighted GPA; courses taken, including AP, IB, CLEP, and dual-enrollment subjects; and more, when admitting a student. The rigor of a student’s coursework is taken into consideration for additional scholarships.
The university focuses on each student’s experience. “We prefer to consider the whole student, not just the numbers,” Kumar said.
Many high school students are worried that if they do not take the tests and submit scores, they will not be eligible for scholarships.
Kumar said, “If you are delaying sending in your application because you are worried about this, go ahead and send it now, as test scores are not necessary for your application to be reviewed as complete.”
Test anxiety plagues many students, while for those with special needs, testing can be especially difficult. Some high school-age students may not be able to afford tutoring sessions, special classes and workbooks, and the tests themselves.
Making college admissions testing optional helps Saint Leo welcome a more diverse student body.
While many institutions of higher learning are just now dropping the test score requirement, Saint Leo University implemented this approach in order to look at each student as an individual.
Applications are being accepted, and scholarships are available for the fall 2021 semester.
Fee adjustment meeting
Pasco-Hernando State College’s (PHSC) District Board of Trustees (DBOT) will consider approving proposed adjusted course-related fees at its board meeting on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m., at the Spring Hill campus. If the meeting is switched to virtual viewing, details will be available online at PHSC.edu.
Fee adjustment proposals are reviewed and approved for DBOT consideration by PHSC’s Council of Academic Affairs, a committee that includes representation by administrators, deans, academic department chairs, program directors, faculty and staff.
For details regarding the adjustments, justification for the fees and fee implementation details, visit Policies.phsc.edu/policies-and-procedures/public-disclosure.
Questions or concerns about the proposed fees should be directed to the appropriate dean listed on the webpage.
Many fee adjustments relate to vendor increases for workforce courses, laboratories, and program testing. Some fees may be covered by financial aid, scholarships and grants. All fees charged by vendors are negotiated by the college, with additional fee increases and decreases expected in the coming academic year.
Grant writing webinar
Saint Leo University will host a free webinar entitled “Grants and COVID-19” on Sept. 18 at noon, through Zoom, for professionals working for human and social service agencies/nonprofits.
The guest speaker will be Jenenne Valentino-Bottaro, Ph.D., and instructor at the Saint Leo University Center for Alternative Pathway Programs.
Valentino-Bottaro will share strategies that can help grant seekers navigate the process in the current climate and locate pertinent information available now.
To register and receive a link for the webinar, visit tinyurl.com/y4olsgor.