May 19, 2023 – Carol Mitchell graduated from South Florida State College (SFSC) on Tuesday, May 9 when she earned her Associate in Science in Nursing (ADN). In fact, she was the student Commencement speaker for the 4 p.m. ceremony. She is also the first person in her family to graduate from college.
Over her 45 years, she’s held many jobs — patient care technician, medical secretary, realtor, licensed practical nurse, radiology technician, and even truck driver. Her life took twists and turns but it always came back to the desire to serve and care for others.
“When I was 18, I helped a friend care for a woman in her home,” Mitchell said. “She was Tess Miller, the matriarch of the Miller’s Central Air family. I fell in love with the ability to come into someone’s life and care for them and try to make their day a little better. Some people just do it for a paycheck, but some do it because they feel good about helping others. Working with Tess was why I got my Patient Care Technician certificate at SFSC.”
After working as a patient care technician and a medical secretary, Mitchell made a foray into the real estate business. In the early 2000s, her sister was a realtor and she invited Mitchell to work with her. “The market was such that you could practically walk across the street and someone would want to sell their house,” she said. “When I went to work in real estate, I excelled. I made over $300,000 my first year.” But when the market took a downturn, health care called Mitchell back and she applied to SFSC’s Practical Nursing program and, eventually, became a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
Mitchell’s first job out of College was in a physician’s office. When the office lost its X-ray technician, the doctor offered to send Mitchell through a Radiologic Technician program. She practiced nursing and radiography in the physician’s office until her mother-in-law, a quality assurance director at a psychiatric and behavioral health facility in Okeechobee, mentioned that they had an opening for a nurse.
“It was a youth prison,” Mitchell said. “Although I wasn’t interested at first, my mother-in-law convinced me to apply. And the experience was life-changing.”
“At the facility, I worked as a nurse in the infirmary,” Mitchell said. “A boy had a seizure and the teachers and other boys panicked. Often, during emergencies, people panic, and their brains shut down. In this instance, no one was helping the boy. I did CPR on him for five minutes. His heart had stopped and he was unconscious. I was able to get his heart started and he was breathing, but he wasn’t conscious. Then the EMT got there and took him to the hospital. When the boy returned to the facility three days later, he came to the infirmary. He said, ‘I heard that I have your breath.’ I laughed and said, ‘You’ve got more than a little bit of my breath.’ He cried and asked me, ‘Why did you do that? Why would you do that for me? Nobody would have done that for me.’ I said, ‘Of course, I would have.’
“What stands out is the appreciation this child who was in prison had for my breath saving his life, that he felt as if he didn’t deserve it,” she said. “That stays with you because you realize that’s where you belong and that’s what you should be doing — helping to care for others.”
Mitchell, eventually, wanted more. After a brief stint working as a truck driver alongside her husband, she made her way back to SFSC and entered its Associate in Science in Nursing program.
Everyone has challenges in their lives and, with great personal strength and determination, Mitchell had overcome a big one. When she was 15 years old, she was sexually assaulted and became a teen parent.
“It would have been easy to let it consume my life and give up my dreams,” she said. “But I refused to let it define me, take me off course, and keep me down.”
Mitchell explained that a high school teacher had called her an abomination and an embarrassment and that Mitchell shouldn’t be allowed to attend high school because she was pregnant.
“She didn’t know my story,” Mitchell said. “To this day, those words still hold weight. But, instead of letting them define me, I used them as motivation to push myself forward and focus on being the best version of myself. My parents’ love gave me the foundation I needed to keep going. I was determined to use my voice to make a difference and propel me toward my goals and a better future for myself and my daughter, Haley, who is now a decorated soldier in the United States Air Force. She’s the best part of me.”
Mitchell is deciding how she wants to move forward in her career. “I love the operating room and critical care,” she said. “However, I haven’t decided what the next step will be. There are so many opportunities for nursing. If I stay locally, I want to participate in a residency program that both AdventHealth and HCA have offered. I just haven’t decided what area I want to go into. I want to be well-equipped as a nurse and know everything I can before I get out there and start practicing. I want to work toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, then a master’s degree in Nursing, and maybe become a nurse practitioner. That’s the long game. I don’t know if I’ll have that done by age 80.”
Mitchell has advice for people who think they can’t go to college. “The biggest problem I have is when someone says, ‘I’m too old, it would be too hard, or I can’t afford to go back to college right now.’ Have a meeting with yourself. Get to SFSC and speak with someone about placement tests and see where you’re at. If you need help, the College has tutors in math, English, science, or foreign languages. Then, there’s financial aid. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and see where you’re at. You may be qualified for funding such as scholarships and grants. There are programs that pay you while you go to college. Check out the academic and workforce programs offered at SFSC and see what you’re interested in. They may have a program that you didn’t even know existed.”
Mitchell is particularly proud of her college career and all she has attained. She was vice president for the Phi Theta Kappa honor society; she served as a student ambassador during the College’s 10-year reaffirmation for accreditation; she was a proctor, lab assistant, and tutor in the Natural Science Department; and she participated in undergraduate research and presented that research at student and professional science conferences. And she graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
“I’m proud of the fact that I persevered and never gave up,” Mitchell said. “Those people who are 20 years ahead of me in their careers — it doesn’t matter. I’m proud that I graduated and will be a registered nurse. That achievement is different for me than someone who graduated from high school and kept going. It might be exciting for them, but is monumental for me. I’m just proud of where I am.”
If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.97, you'll need a higher SAT score to compensate and show that you're prepared to take on college academics. This will help you compete effectively with other applicants.What is the average GPA for South Florida State College? ›
If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.97, you'll need a higher SAT score to compensate and show that you're prepared to take on college academics. This will help you compete effectively with other applicants.Is South Florida State College a 4 year? ›
South Florida State College is a 4-year institution located in Avon Park, FL, in a rural setting.How many students go to South Florida State College? › What division is South Florida State? ›
USF competes in NCAA Division I and is a member of the American Athletic Conference for all sports besides sailing, a non-NCAA sanctioned sport which competes in the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association within the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association.Can I get into FSU with a 2.7 GPA? ›
Applicants' unweighted GPA when applying to FSU should be between 3.50 - 4.0 to be strong candidates. The average unweighted GPA of students that applied to FSU for the 2022 - 2023 school year was 3.71. Candidates that have a GPA below the 3.50 - 4.0 range will need to compensate by increasing their SAT or ACT score.Can I get into FSU with a 2.3 GPA? ›
Students require a 3.75 and above Florida State GPA to take admitted to the university.Is Florida Southern College a dry campus? ›
Due to our affiliation with the Methodist Church, we are technically a dry campus.Does South Florida State College have housing? ›
The SFSC Foundation, Inc., makes housing available to full-time SFSC students at the Jacaranda Residence Facility, located in the historic Hotel Jacaranda, 19 E.What rank is South Florida college? ›
- #601-650. QS World University Rankings.
- #401-450. QS WUR Ranking By Subject.
- #361-380. QS Sustainability Ranking.
- #191-200. Graduate Employability Ranking.
|Name||Total # of Students|
|1||University of Central Florida Public, four-yearsOrlando, FL||70,310|
|2||Florida International University Public, four-yearsMiami, FL||56,664|
|3||University of Florida Public, four-yearsGainesville, FL||55,781|
|4||University of South Florida Public, four-yearsTampa, FL||49,708|
South Florida State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and associate degrees.What percent of Floridians go to college? ›
|High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2017-2021||89.0%|
|Bachelor's degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2017-2021||31.5%|
|With a disability, under age 65 years, percent, 2017-2021||8.7%|
The University of South Florida (USF) offers a distinguished faculty, superb academics, world-class interdisciplinary research, a diverse student body, major college athletics and year-round warm, sunny weather. The university has three campus locations: Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee.What is the acceptance rate of USF? › Are football tickets free for USF students? ›
Current USF students receive free admission to all USF regular season home events. Students may claim their ticket in advance by visiting USFStudentTix.com on their mobile device.
The GPA requirements for Harvard University are between 3.9 to 4.1. You will need an incredibly high GPA and will likely be graduating at the top of their class in order to get into Harvard University.What is the average GPA for Harvard? ›
The average high school GPA of admitted students at Harvard is around 4.2. 73% of students had a GPA of at least 4.0, indicating that admitted students typically mostly earned A grades in high school. If you're studying the IB, this translates to scoring mostly 7s and achieving a minimum score of at least 42.What GPA is 82? ›
|Letter Grade||Percent Grade||4.0 Scale|
The state minimum requirements for Freshmen applicants can be found here; however, UF's standards for admissions are significantly higher than the state minimums. Applicants who are admitted typically have at least (and usually higher than) a 3.7 High School GPA.
The minimum requirements for consideration include a 3.0 weighted academic GPA as recalculated by the Office of Admissions and either an ACT composite score of 19 or SAT total score of 990.How much is FSU tuition per year? › Is Harvard a dry campus? ›
As stated above, Harvard University, consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, prohibits the consumption, possession, use and sale, and the provision or serving of alcoholic beverages by and to persons less than 21 years of age.What is a wet campus? ›
What Is the Difference Between a Dry and Wet Campus? Wet campuses allow students to follow the legal drinking age. After a student turns 21, university rules permit them to drink while on campus. Wet campuses also may provide alcohol at certain university events or at on-campus eateries.Can you have pets at Florida Southern College? ›
Florida Southern College is a pet-free college but is pleased to consider a Service or Emotional Support Animal (ESA) a reasonable accommodation for a disability, and verified Service Animals in Training are permitted on campus when under bona fide training.Is FSU a Coke campus? ›
While no state universities in Florida have campus-wide soft drink contracts, many have agreements for specific campus concessions. Florida State vending machines dispense only Coke; the cafeteria serves Pepsi, and for three years, Coca-Cola's Powerade has been the official drink of FSU's sports teams.How much does it cost to live in a dorm at FSU? ›
If today's tendencies persist, incoming freshmen in 2022 will pay about $18,293 in housing, meals and additional expenses for their first year of school. Those individuals might wind up having to pay roughly $18,780 for their second year, and $19,798 for their fourth year.Can you live off campus as a freshman at University of South Florida? ›
Can I live off campus? Yes. INTO USF does not require first year students to live on campus, but it is highly encouraged.What is the #1 college in Florida? ›
1. University of Miami. The University of Miami is a private research university founded in 1925 and located southwest of downtown Miami in the Coral Gables area.Is it hard to get into USF? ›
Petersburg students averaged a 3.8 GPA and a 1208 SAT. Now, with pressure on to maintain preeminence, USF St. Petersburg students admitted for fall 2019 will ideally average a 4.0 GPA and a 1240 SAT. This is a bump that could disproportionately affect minority students, according to internal planning documents.
University of South Florida's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #97.What college in Florida has the highest GPA? ›
Florida Colleges Ranked by Highest GPA
Florida International University tops the list with an average reported GPA of 4.0. Note that not all colleges report GPA for their incoming class.
The University of South Florida is once again the fastest-rising university in America, according to U.S. News and World Report's (U.S. News) 2021 Best Colleges rankings released today.What are the three biggest universities in Florida? ›
|School Name||Rank||Prior Total Enrollment|
|University of Central Florida||1||71,881|
|Florida International University||2||58,836|
|University of Florida||3||53,372|
|University of South Florida||4||50,626|
Florida State University's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #55.Is South Florida an HBCU? ›
Founded in 1879, Florida Memorial University is the only Historically Black College and University in South Florida. FMU is a private, coeducational, culturally diverse institution that offers 28 undergraduate programs, four graduate programs, and several professional programs.Is Florida Southern College good? ›
Florida Southern College's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities South, #8. Its tuition and fees are $40,500. Florida Southern College sits between Tampa and Orlando in the city of Lakeland, Florida, where students enjoy an average of 330 sunny days a year.What part of Florida is the most educated? ›
In Florida, Coral Gables, a city of about 50,200 people, ranks as the best educated place. An estimated 66.7% of adults in the area have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to the 29.9% bachelor's degree attainment rate across the state as a whole.Which Florida College has most Asians? ›
|University of Florida Gainesville, FL||8.0%|
|Schiller International University Largo, FL||7.1%|
|University of South Florida Main Campus Tampa, FL||6.4%|
|University of Central Florida Orlando, FL||5.9%|
1. California: Along with having the most colleges by state in the U.S., California also has the highest number of top-ranked institutions. Some of the top ranked colleges on the list include Stanford University, Pomona College, and California Institute of Technology.
With one of the lowest tuition rates in the country, generous financial aid and scholarships, and plenty of student employment opportunities, USF is an outstanding value. Even if you live outside Florida, our tuition rates are competitive with many local universities.What is the most popular major in University of South Florida? ›
The most popular majors at University of South Florida include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Professions and Related Programs; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Social Sciences; Psychology; Engineering; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Education; Computer and ...Is University of South Florida Ivy League? ›
The answer is that there are no Ivy League schools in Florida. The eight schools of the Ivy League are all located in the Northeast region of the United States. But Florida has several colleges that offer an educational experience on par with the Ivies.Can I get into USF with a 2.5 GPA? ›
Have a 3.5 weighted grade point average or higher on a 4.0 scale. Dual enrollment students are non-degree-seeking students at USF and may only take courses which are creditable toward their high school diploma.What college has the lowest acceptance rate? ›
Among the institutions with the lowest acceptance rate, colleges included, UCLA is the only public university with the lowest acceptance rate while the college with the lowest acceptance rate is Dartmouth College. The rest of the U.S. higher educational institutions with low acceptance rates are privately-owned.What is the minimum GPA to stay at USF? ›
Maintain an overall minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in all courses taken in each of the student's degree-seeking majors.How much are dorms at USF? ›
|Room Rates - Traditional Style Halls||Semester||Annual (Fall/Spring)|
|Large Double Room||$6,185||$12,370|
|Small Single Room||$7,225||$14,450|
Alcoholic beverages sold in the stadium have a limit of two (2) per person, per purchase.Which college is better USF or UCF? ›
UCF and USF General Rankings
Comparing general rankings, UCF has a slightly better average ranking across the four major ranking publications we'll look at. U.S. News ranks UCF 137th among national universities, while USF is ranked 97th.
Freshman/Sophomore-Level Applicants (12-59 hours)
have a minimum GPA of 2.0 on all attempted college courses. In calculating your GPA, we use all attempted courses (including D's, F's, and WF's) from every college you have attended.
The minimum requirements for consideration include a 3.0 weighted academic GPA as recalculated by the Office of Admissions and either an ACT composite score of 19 or SAT total score of 990.Can I get into FSU with a 3.1 GPA? ›
Minimum GPA - 3.0 (except for Associate in Arts applicants from Florida community colleges entering based on articulation agreement). Official Transcripts: High school transcripts are required if applying with less than 60 credits. College transcript(s) from every institution attended are required.What GPA do you need to get into UF? ›
The state minimum requirements for Freshmen applicants can be found here; however, UF's standards for admissions are significantly higher than the state minimums. Applicants who are admitted typically have at least (and usually higher than) a 3.7 High School GPA.What is the lowest GPA UF will accept? ›
Must have a minimum 2.0 overall GPA and a minimum 2.0 GPA at the last institution attended, as calculated by UF. Must complete or will complete specific prerequisites for the intended major before attending UF. Must be in good standing and eligible to return to any institution previously attended.What GPA does UCF require? ›
GPA: 4.00 – 4.50 (recalculated academic core) SAT: 1270 – 1390 (Evidence-based Reading and Writing + Math) ACT: 26 – 30 (composite)Is South Florida hard to get into? ›
The acceptance rate at USF is 42.7%.
This means the school is moderately selective. The school expects you to meet their requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but they're more flexible than other schools. If you exceed their requirements, you have an excellent chance of getting in.
You should have a minimum SAT score of 1220 to get admitted to FSU. A score above 1330 is a sure shot of getting accepted, while a score below 1220 and 1195 will make things challenging for you during the admission process.Can you go to Harvard with 3.3 GPA? ›
1. What's the lowest GPA Harvard accepted? Answer- Harvard requires a 4.18 to get in. However, they may accept some with a 4.0 as well.Is it harder to get into FSU or UF? ›
It is harder to admit to UF than FSU. UF has a higher submitted SAT score (1,260) than FSU (1,260). UF has higher submitted ACT score (28) than FSU (28). UF has more students with 55,781 students while FSU has 45,130 students.What is the lowest passing grade for FSU? ›
Students must maintain a “C” grade point average (2.0) or better to remain in good academic standing at FSU.
|GPA and test scores of middle 25%-75% students|
|High School GPA||4.18 - 4.32|
|ACT English Language Arts||30 - 35|
|SAT Evidence Based Reading & Writing||670 - 760|
|SAT Mathematics||690 - 790|
What Is a Good GPA in High School? The average high school GPA is around 3.0, or a B average. This also happens to be the minimum requirement for many college scholarships, though a 3.5 or higher is generally preferable.