Thursday, July 14, 2011

NJCAA honors Falcon links standout Mitsuki Katahira

Mitsuki Katahira
The National Junior College Athletic Association has named recently graduated Daytona State College Lady Falcons Golf phenomenon Mitsuki Katahira as the recipient of the 2011 NJCAA Betty Jo Graber Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award. The prestigious honor is bestowed annually to the top female student-athlete in the NJCAA who best exhibits hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in competition.
“Mitsuki is an outstanding athlete, student and person,” said Daytona State Women’s Golf Head Coach Laura Brown. “She has an incredible work ethic and is a great role model for other student-athletes. We are very proud of her and look forward to following her during the next phase of her golfing career.”
In her second season with Daytona State, the Kanagawa, Japan, native won the national championship tournament and did not finish lower than second place in any tournament play. All totaled, Katahira won nine of 11 tournaments in 2011 and was listed as the top female amateur player when initial rankings were released by the World Amateur Golf Ranking system. She is currently ranked third. Katahira also finished second among all collegiate women golfers in this season’s Golfstat Cup Standings. Her average round score was 71.10 and she shot under par in eight tournaments She finished two over par in a winning effort during May’s National Championships held at LPGA International's Champions Course.
During her play at Daytona State, the two-time NJCAA First-Team All-American led the Lady Falcons to two straight NJCAA Women’s Golf team championships, while also claiming two individual medalist titles in the process. She is the NJCAA record holder for the lowest individual three-round total (211 in 2010) and lowest individual round score (64 in 2010) in NJCAA Women’s Golf Championship play. Katahira also led the Lady Falcons to two NJCAA team records: lowest round score (280 in 2010) and lowest three-round team total (869 in 2010).
This month, Katahira will play the Women's North & South Amateur Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., followed by the LPGA qualifying school's first-stage tournament July 26-29 at LPGA International's Champions Course. If she advances through all three stages of the qualifying school, Katahira will earn her LPGA Tour membership by the beginning of December.
Katahira is the second golfer – and second Falcon - to receive the Betty Jo Graber Award since it was established in 1993. Softball standout Nicole Weed was presented the award in 1997. The award is named for longtime Weatherford College (Texas) basketball coach Betty Jo Graber, who also served as the Region 5 Women’s Director, the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Committee Chair and a founding member of the NJCAA Women’s Division. Graber also was among the first to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
For more information, please contact Daytona State’s Athletic Director and Dean of Health, Wellness and Intercollegiate Athletics William Dunne at (386) 506-4486, email:, or Coach Brown at (386) 506-3282, email:

Daytona State featured in Florida College System’s inaugural publication

A new initiative launched by Daytona State College this past spring which automatically graduates students who have met the requirements for the Associate of Arts degree is featured in the first issue of A Community for Completion: Promising Practices to Increase Completion in the Florida College System.
The publication of the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Florida Colleges is intended to help institutions remove barriers to degree completion and promote best practices that foster student success.
While Daytona State’s “auto graduation” initiative is a labor-intensive process involving multiple college departments, it resulted in significant increases in graduation rates this past May, when an all-time high1,943 students graduated. Among them were as many as 150 program completers who were auto graduated, according to Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Student Development Richard Pastor.
Dr. Pastor noted that auto graduation stemmed from the college discovering that, while many students were accumulating enough AA credits to earn their degree, they were not applying for graduation. Also, many Associate of Science degree students had earned enough credits to automatically qualify for certificates. “This is very important in terms of reporting of our program completion numbers,” Pastor said. “It helps the college and it helps the AS student earn a credential along the way.”
The process originated in the college’s Office of Institutional Research, where a list of graduation-eligible students was generated and passed on to academic advisors, who performed degree audits on each student to verify that degree requirements had been met. The list was then sent to the graduation office for a final check before students were automatically graduated. Students who were auto graduated were then sent letters with instructions on how to obtain their diplomas. The process is outlined in more detail in the Division’s article.
While this year's numbers are still being tabulated, the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, last year ranked Daytona State in the top 100 among the nation’s 5,000-plus colleges in the awarding of associate degrees and certificates, including:
·         Overall Associate Degrees (All Disciplines) – 37th
·         All Associate Degree Disciplines (Non-Minority) – 23rd
·         All Associate Degree Disciplines (African American) – 64th
·         Associate Degrees in Communication Technologies/Technicians & Support Services – 10th
·         Associate Degrees in Liberal Arts & Sciences/General Studies & Humanities – 21st
·         Associate Degree Nursing – 47th
·         One-Year Certificates (All Disciplines) – 72nd
·         One-Year Certificates (Non-Minority) – 43rd

Daytona State awarded multi-year DOE grant for at-risk students

Up to 500 promising students from area middle schools and high schools each year will have an opportunity to attend college thanks to a five-year US Department of Education Talent Search Program grant totaling $1,150,000 that was recently awarded to Daytona State College.
The first year’s award of $230,000 is part of a total $142,000,000 that will be split among 464 institutions nationwide, according to the Department of Education’s website.
The Talent Search Program identifies qualified students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in college with appropriate academic, career and financial counseling.  Through the grant, Daytona State has partnered with 13 target schools in Volusia County, each identified as a Title I school in need of enhanced student support services.
“Securing this grant truly was a massive endeavor, and I am so pleased that we can bring this money into our community to help 500 students a year,” said Brianna Holt, Daytona State’s resource development coordinator who led the grant proposal team along with Isalene Montgomery, associate vice president of the college’s Division of Alternative Services and principal investigator for the grant.
“This grant focuses on middle school students and follows them through high school to help them build academic discipline and prepare them to transition into college studies,” said Montgomery. “We are looking at kids who are potential first-generation college students who may not have sufficient support at home to understand that college is a possibility for them.” 
The program’s ultimate goal is for the students to be accepted to a college or university and earn a bachelor’s degree, Montgomery said.
Students who will be served by the grant are from Campbell, DeLand, Deltona, Galaxy, Heritage, Holly Hill and Southwestern middle schools, as well as Atlantic, DeLand, Deltona, Mainland and Pine Ridge high schools and Taylor Middle-High School. All seven middle schools feed directly into the six target high schools to ensure continuity of services, Holt said. Students will be tracked throughout their secondary and postsecondary education to measure their progress and the program’s success.
The core of the Talent Search Program revolves around an action plan called an Individualized Graduation and Accountability Plan (IGAP) that will be provided to the students who are selected. It includes academic tutoring services; help with choosing secondary and post-secondary courses; preparation for college entrance examinations and completing college admission applications; information about financial aid programs, benefits and scholarships, including completing financial aid applications; and field trips to postsecondary institutions and cultural events.
The Talent Search Program has strong internal institutional support and written commitments of support with all partnering target schools, as well as the Volusia County School District.  Daytona State will collaborate with the Volusia County School District and its school-based Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) programs to ensure the cost-effectiveness of grant expenditures. The mission of AVID is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success.