SPC Program Celebrates a Decade of Graduates

Mariah Kaylor, decked out in a blue cap and gown, on her graduation day from SPCs Public Policy and Administration program

St. Petersburg College’s Public Policy and Administration program is celebrating 10 years of preparing students for careers in public service. The program boasts a 90 percent job placement rate, with some graduates working in government, legal and nonprofit sectors, and others in the private sector addressing policy-related issues.

“Our goal as a program is provide practical information that goes across multiple disciplines to improve quality of life and sense of place, and make a positive difference in our communities,” said Instructor-in-Charge Jeff Kronschnabl.

Grad’s work leads to City of Treasure Island murals

Mariah Kaylor, who graduated from St. Petersburg College’s Public Policy and Administration program in December 2020, recently worked for months on end with the City of Treasure Island’s Recreation Department to encourage the city to put ecology-based murals on public buildings.

“I made the contact and built the relationship with the city through a project I’d done in school,” Kaylor said.

After communicating with the City of Treasure Island to get source material for her project, Kaylor reached back out to the municipality and nabbed an internship, where she was able to implement an idea that had come together for her.

“The focus groups I did for my project revealed that the public was interested in ecology and public art, so I combined the two,” she said. “All the projects that I did with the Public Policy and Administration program, I applied to this project, so I was definitely prepared for this.”

An evolving program; totally online

Kronschnabl said the program has evolved over the past 10 years in order to keep the curriculum current.

“The courses have developed and evolved according to the needs of the community and changing government structures,” he said. “We make sure our students are job ready.”

Evolving meant taking SPC’s Public Policy and Administration program online, which means the program can grow even more.

“We’ve developed the program to be totally online, and we’d like to take it around the state to surrounding counties whose colleges don’t have a program,” he said. “We want to introduce ourselves and form partnerships. Make sure they know we exist, and celebrate our success stories with them. First statewide, then nationwide.”

With her education and experience, Kaylor just nabbed a position in the Parks and Recreation department with the City of St. Pete Beach. She said the program took her from a place where she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, to a great job in a field that she’s passionate about.

“I liked that this degree could lead to so many different things,” she said. “I had such a great experience. Everything was hands-on, and there was nothing in the program I haven’t used.”

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