You may have seen the lead story in this newspaper a week ago Saturday, headlined "Students say they are not prepared.''
If you did you were left with the impression that FGCU is a diploma mill and students are whiny babies for not knowing, among other things, that sociology majors probably need an advanced degree to find work in that field or that a public relations grad may need some computer skills to land a job.
Yet another student, in marketing, was quoted as saying he wished someone had talked him out of student loans to pay for an education that was too long on academics and too short on learning-by-doing.
The student journalist who did that story used Twitter to find those few interview subjects who readers could have concluded were reflective of the student body.
This information, gleaned by me via email and telephone from FGCU and available to the same news story writer, seems more reliable, though less tantalizing.
Despite today's economy, of the 1,439 FGCU bachelor's degree graduates from 2009-10, some 68 percent of them were employed in Florida earning an average salary of $35,668. Those statistics ranked third and fifth, respectively, among the entire 11-school state university system.
Of the 360 master's degree earners, 81 percent of them were employed in Florida, as opposed to less than 60 percent of their colleagues systemwide, and the FGCU grads earned an average of $56,772, seventh in the system.
Note that the four-year grads' data do not include those working elsewhere and/or pursuing advanced degrees, and the master's programs at FGCU are not as varied and exotic as those at other state schools, yet.
So, what this modest measure of fact-checking tells us is that FGCU is not a diploma mill and most students have their eye on the ball. Tweet that.
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A concerned reader called the other day to ask about the community bloodmobiles outside Hollywood 20 in North Naples.
She said the popular events are rare now because theater management is making NCH Healthcare System buy movie advertising if it wants to hold more than a bare minimum of blood drives there.
I could not manage anything that concise from either party, but something is wrong.
Sheila Phillips at NCH emailed: "The local Regal Hollywood 20 management has always been very supportive of the Community Blood Center and they've graciously allowed us to frequently hold blood drives at their location. We purchase movie tickets from them as the thank-you item for the donors who participate at those events. We feel it has been a good business-to-business relationship.
"However, there have been some recent corporate policy changes. As a result we are now limited to the number of 'courtesy' times who can go there. We will continue with blood drives at Regal HW20 but will modify our format so we can still maximize blood collections; we'll continue to use our marketing budget in ways we feel are most beneficial to our community awareness and educational needs.''
A Regal spokesman says: "Regal works to stay actively involved in our local communities and we work with many different partners in different ways. We consider all requests by valuable local organizations and non-profits but we cannot agree to every proposed event ... Advertising is sold by a separate company and we do not compare their client list with those who contact us seeking community support. Regal employees do not solicit such business ... Our partnership with the blood center has always been for community support and not based on financial benefit. Selling Super Saver tickets to them at a discount actually reduces potential box office revenue.''NCH CEO Dr. Allen Weiss has the last word, for now: "Not a concern that we can't maneuver around and still serve our community.''* * *
True to its word, the Galisano Children's Museum of Naples is going the extra mile to assure access and affordability.
The museum is distributing a limited number of passes to public libraries in Collier and Lee counties. The passes — each good for a day's admission for an entire family — are available for checkout just like a book or video.
First come, first served.
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The Naples Philharmonic Center is not the only local venue packing them in.
Naples Players' production of "Hello, Dolly!'' sold out before its first performance.
Players leader Jim Rideoutte is happy to report it's not the first time, as this past summer's 42nd Street sold out its two dozen performances before the curtain went up.
He says last season was a record-breaker for the Players and this year is even better.
Rideoutte says when you add up the crowds and 200 members of the cast and crew, that is a testimonial to the number of people who really love good theater around here.
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Of all the food that could be served as a political fund-raiser, Jim Roach's campaign chose pork.
When asked whether that was deliberate or coincidental, the Democrat from Cape Coral seeking a U.S. House seat said it was "sort of an after-the-fact discovery.
"How about pulled pork because it should be pulled from every bill?''