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The Chipola Regional Arts Association meeting

The Chipola Regional Arts Association monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, September 17th at noon at Jim's Buffet in Marianna, FL on Lafayette Street. Dutch lunch

An outstanding program has been arranged for this meeting. We are having the director of the Wiregrass Cultural Arts Center in Dothan Alabama, director Ann Cotton will present a program on the Dothan Arts Center. You do not have to a member of the CRAA to attend. Open to the public

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Chipola College Ranks 14th Best In Nation

Today Washington Monthly ranked Chipola College Number Fourteen among national community colleges in its ninth annual college rankings survey. Four other Florida College System (FCS) institutions made the list: North Florida Community College, Miami Dade College, Valencia College and South Florida State College.

"On behalf of the faculty and staff of Chipola College, we are pleased to be recognized for offering quality instruction," said Chipola President Dr. Gene Prough. "I am very proud of our faculty and support personnel who provide a quality learning environment for our students."

"This honor recognizes the Florida College System's commitment to both access and high-quality education," said FCS Chancellor Randy Hanna. "I commend our colleges for their ongoing efforts to serve the needs of our state."

Using data from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and U.S. Department of Education, Washington Monthly rates community colleges in a number of areas, including collaborative learning, student effort, academic rigor, student-faculty interaction and support for learning. Retention, graduation and completion rates are also factored into the rankings.

Chipola had a first-year retention rate of 65.9 which was fifth among the top 50 colleges. Chipola was eleventh in the three-year graduation/transfer rate at 57.9 percent. This number indicates the percentage of students who graduate or transfer to another college within three years of first enrolling.

Chipola offers the Bachelor of Science Degree, the Associate in Arts Degree, the Associate in Science Degree and Workforce Development programs.

According to Washington Monthly's editors, "We designed the Washington Monthly college rankings to embody the American higher education compact at the institutional level. Instead of lauding colleges for closing their doors to all but an elite few, we give high marks to institutions that enroll low-income students, help them graduate and don't charge them an arm and a leg to attend."

"These rankings are especially important because they highlight the system's mission of providing access to low-cost, high-quality education and job training," said Chancellor Hanna. "I am extremely proud of all of our colleges for helping prepare Floridians for high-skill, high-wage jobs."

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Converting Theatre Scraps Into Art Work

Artist and woodworker Ethan Sawyer is taking used scenery material from Chipola College's last theatre season and creating an inspired art collection. The opening for Ethan Sawyer's "After the Fly Loft," is Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m., in the Chipola Center for the Arts Gallery. The opening is planned in conjunction with the first Chipola Artist Series event, Sweet Potato Pie, the same night at 7 p.m. Artist Series tickets are available for purchase at 850-718-2277 or online at www.chipola.edu/fine-and-performing-arts.

Sawyer's project is a collaboration of the Center for the Arts Gallery and Chipola Theatre. He is creating his art from used materials while working with Chipola students and Technical Theatre Director Connie Smith in the technical theatre shop. Together, they recently removed the last set pieces that had been suspended in the theatre fly loft since the season ended in May.

Sawyer learned cabinetry and furniture-making at Wallace College in Dothan. He studied Industrial Design at Auburn University and earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Maryville College in Tennessee. Sawyer operates a production/fabrication shop in Montgomery specializing in custom woodwork and the creative reuse of recycled materials.

In addition to other projects, Sawyer has created a shelter and various sculptures for EAT South's downtown Montgomery urban farm. The project includes recycled barn tin for the roof, a structure designed to catch rainwater to water an orchard, and a partially timber-framed, partially traditionally-framed pergola.

The exhibit will be on display through Oct. 31. The gallery is open weekdays, by appointment. Call 850-718-2277. Information about Sawyer's work is available at www.forestfromatree.tumblr.com

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