Community Connections

It comes as no surprise that USF St. Petersburg holds the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation.

Below are just a few examples of how we support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.

harbor notes
Get news, research updates and public events in our USFSP email newsletter.

Public Events And News

Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading

Festival of Reading

USF St. Petersburg has hosted the annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading since 2005.

Usually held in the Fall, the festival has presented an eclectic array of topics and authors such as: Carl Hiaasen, Dennis Lehane, R.L. Stine, Sen. Bob Graham, Andy Borowitz, Michael Connelly, Arianna Huffington, Taylor Branch, Candace Bushnell, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Martina Navratilova.

Neighborhood News Bureau

Neighborhood News Bureau

Our Neighborhood News Bureau is a working newsroom, staffed by our Journalism undergraduate and graduate students, located at 1111 18th Ave S. (Enoch Davis Center), St. Petersburg, FL, 33705.

It functions as a community connection for collecting and disseminating information and news.

It produces stories, features and announcements for use by local and regional news media and community organizations.

Civic Leadership, Engagement and Scholarship

Award for Civic Leadership

civic leadership

This award is bestowed in recognition of outstanding contributions to our community. It is the most prestigious award granted by USF St. Petersburg and recognizes the institution’s strong ties with the community.

View Past Recipients And More About The Award

Instruction Integrated Into Community

Bishop Center for Leadership and Civic Engagaement

Citizen scholarship sets USF St. Petersburg apart.

Faculty members offer students both classroom and community learning opportunities within their curricula. Many courses engage USF St. Petersburg students with community businesses, agencies and schools in focused academic service.

By pairing courses with corporate and community partners for immersive learning, professors involve students in the world outside the classroom.

Ways to Engage

USF St. Petersburg values community participation and offers several ways to engage directly with the university including:

The Kate Tiedemann College of Business advisory groups to include:

  • College of Business Advisory Council
  • Program of Accountancy Advisory Board
  • Entrepreneurship Advisory Board
  • Town and Gown
    Town and Gown is a non-profit organization designed to promote understanding and friendship between the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the community


    Recruiting and Internships

    USFSP Career Center

    There are a variety of ways for companies and organizations to recruit talented students for employment and internships. These opportunities help students gain relevant experience while meeting the organization’s needs.

    Through career fairs and events,  posting boards, and employer relations, the USFSP Career Center engages meaningful career connections for employers, alumni and current students.

    Explore more at the USFSP Career Center.

    Fitness, Lessons, Camps And Outdoor Adventures

    Dive Deep Scuba Classes

    USFSP Campus Recreation offers camps, adventures, and lessons both above water and below. Get fit with a personal trainer or learn to sail in Tampa Bay. Our facility is also an authorized provider of the American Red Cross. Throughout the year, various classes are offered including CPR, first aid, lifeguard training and lifeguard challenges.

    Visit USFSP Campus Recreation

    Community Tax Preparation

    Kate Tiedemann College of Business

    Jim Fellows, Ph.D., CPA is the 2009-2010 Bank of America Professor in our Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Dr. Fellows has coordinated efforts with the I.R.S. VITA internship and volunteer program. This active program allows students to engage in “real” tax return preparation while helping the community’s elderly and lower income individuals.

    Conference And Event Space


    The Conference and Event’s department at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg offers a variety of services to all non-university entities and individuals in need of an event facility. The University’s beautiful venues are suitable for any social, meeting or functions such as wedding ceremonies, dinner banquets, workshops, and conferences.

    View USFSP Conference And Event Space

    Workshops, Courses And Professional Education

    Closing The Achievement Gap

    USFSP Family Studies Center

    Our Family Study Center, in collaboration with the Concerned Organization for the Quality of Education for Black Students (COQEBS) and other community partners, works to address the achievement gap between African American students and their school-aged peers.

    Community events for families include Baby Talk and Figuring It Out For The Child.

    Visit the Family Study Center.

    Tuition Waivers for Florida Seniors

    Auditing courses at USFSP

    USF St. Petersburg welcomes Florida residents who are 60 years or older to discover course enrollment opportunities and lifelong learning.

    This program allows those residents to register tuition-free for up to three courses on a “space available” basis. Courses are available in the liberal arts (College of Arts and Sciences) disciplines.

    Learn more about tuition waivers.

    GMAT Preparation Course

    Kate Tiedemann College of Business

    Enroll in the USFSP GMAT Prep Course taught by experienced instructors who will help you prepare for test content, question types, and strategies. This comprehensive course spans over 4 Saturdays and is offered multiple times a year.  Students have the option to enroll in Math, Verbal or both sections of the course.

    View GMAT Prep Course Information.

    GRE Preparation Course

    GRE Prep

    Our experienced course instructors will familiarize you with the GRE through test content, question types and strategies. Take practice questions during class and use the online test prep program at home to maximize your score on test day.

    View GRE Prep Course Information.

    GIS Workshops

    GIS workshops

    The Geo-Spatial Analytics Lab  at the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg is pleased to offer training workshops in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing.  The workshops are offered throughout the year. We also can customize our services to a particular skill or need, so please ask if you require something specific that you don’t see offered (i.e., criminology applications, ArcHydro, etc).

    View GIS Workshops.

    Professional Education

    USFSP routinely offers professional education and certificate programs catered to working adults.

    Kate Tiedemann College of Business

    Professional and executive education programs are a perfect way for any professional to sharpen important skills needed to succeed in business without committing to a full-fledged degree program.  Learn about Project Management and Leadership Management programs.

    College of Arts and Sciences

    USFSP has collaborated with seven local breweries* to create a unique on-line and hands-on program in the Brewing Arts. This program provides students with the foundational knowledge and hands-on training for a successful career in the fast growing industry of craft brewing. Learn more about Brewing Arts.

    Inclusive Education Intitatives

    USFSP College of EducationWithin the College of Education, the K-16 Educational Initiatives Division focuses on grant development and educational initiatives both locally and statewide. The grants and initiatives, are major contributors to the national education conversation.

    Project 10: Transition Education Network

    Project 10 is the only program of its kind in Florida. It provides professional development and technical assistance to every school district in Florida to help build capacity to provide secondary transition services to students with disabilities in order to improve their academic success and post-school outcomes. Project 10 is the primary conduit between the Florida Department of Education, specifically the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, and relevant statewide school district personnel in addressing law and policy, effective practices, and research-based interventions in the area of transition services for youth with disabilities. Learn more about Project 10.

    Project 10: STING RAY

    Students Transitioning Into the Next Generation, Recognizing Alternatives for Youth (STING RAY) offers young adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 18 to 22, an opportunity to experience life on a college campus while developing self-determination, independent living, and employability skills needed to become independent and productive citizens. Project 10 STING RAY is a collaborative effort between USFSP, Pinellas County Schools, and the Florida Department of Education. Learn more about Project 10 STING RAY.

    SEDNET Administration

    This project, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education’s Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, serves as a statewide coordination effort to create a network of local key stakeholders committed to assisting in the provision of a quality system of care for students with or at-risk of emotional and/or behavioral challenges. Learn more about SEDNET Administration.

    Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education

    The University of Central Florida (UCF) partnered with the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP), Florida International University (FIU), and Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) to form the Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education, who have been awarded a $2.5 million, five-year federal grant to assist students with intellectual disabilities successfully transition into higher education. The U.S. Department of Education has awarded funding from the Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) into Higher Education program to the Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education.

    USFSP served as the lead institution in a consortium that was awarded TPSID funding during the 2010 cycle. Much of the experience and knowledge obtained and momentum generated about inclusive higher education over the past five years will be transitioned to this new partnership, which includes extending existing support while also improving and enhancing existing and developing new programs.

    The consortium will create and expand high-quality transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

    Additionally, the consortium will:

    • Collaborate with all Florida postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities and other key stakeholders to align curriculum and credentialing among the institutions; and
    • Develop a base of meaningful research in this area and disseminate the research through peer-reviewed articles, conference presentations, and training.

    “We are honored that our partner institutions in Florida and the U.S. Department of Education have expressed their confidence in UCF to lead this extremely important project,” said Maribeth Ehasz, UCF’s vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services. “The focus of our program is on outreach, professional development, and evaluation about students with intellectual disabilities and improving their academic success.”

    To achieve these goals, UCF will partner with the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and its Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services. 

    The consortium will also collaborate with other partners to design and deliver professional development, an annual symposium, and strategic program evaluation, and to ensure reporting to and collaboration with the national transition coordinating center.

    “UCF strives to be a leader in creating the most inclusive college experiences for students with intellectual disabilities,” said Adam Meyer, UCF’s acting director of Inclusive Education Services and director of Student Accessibility Services. “The TPSID grant is a great opportunity for UCF and our partner schools to make a significant impact in the state with respect to how these programs operate.”

    For more information, please visit