This past week the Gulf Coast State College Gulf/Franklin Center welcomed a new director.


This past week the Gulf Coast State College Gulf/Franklin Center welcomed a new director.

Roderick Robinson replaced Loretta Costin as the center’s director following Costin’s retirement.

Robinson brings experience from the Franklin County School District, where he served as a counselor and head of the district’s dual-enrollment program for the past six years.

Prior to that position, Robinson taught business education for the district for two years.

Born and raised in Apalachicola, Robinson attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach before moving on to Troy University and Jacksonville Theological Seminary.

With a love for education, Robinson said he knew he wanted to work at the collegiate level.

When this past year, the Franklin County School District graduated six of his dual-enrollment students with associate degrees, Robinson felt that he had completed one of his major goals and that he could move on to a new challenge.

“I’m looking forward to the new challenge,” Robinson said.

Along with being the face of the Gulf/Franklin Center, Robinson will also oversee day-to-day operations of the facility and serve as an additional advisor for the students.

According to Robinson, his first 100 days at the center will be spent conducting analysis of the condition of the school along with his other responsibilities.

Robinson said that he has already begun a SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis of the campus and will soon begin a community needs assessment.

“It’s all about making the place that you’re in better,” Robinson said. “How do we work together to make it a better place, a better environment, a more beneficial environment? I am trying to figure out, during this 100 day analysis, what we can do to make this a better place and a better area for everyone.”

That community needs assessment will consist of reaching out to the local community organizations and leaders to determine the needs the community has for the center and the feasibility of those needs.

According to Robinson, one of his main goals is to build homegrown associates programs so that a Gulf or Franklin County student can remain in the community if they choose to.

“Even if it is only one or two programs,” Robinson said. “What would be the most popular programs, that those students really wouldn’t have to commute back and forth to Panama City?”

Robinson said that he would love to grow enrollment so that the center could offer new programs and courses, or bring back courses that have gone away.

“I would like to see it as a thriving campus for Franklin and Gulf County,” Robinson said. “It is a tremendous opportunity for it to be in our community and I would like us to take advantage of it to its fullest capacity.”

So far Robinson has been impressed with the center and his co-workers.

“The environment is incredible,” Robinson said. “The people I work with are absolutely incredible, amazing people. I couldn’t ask for any better people. I know it’s only day two, But I am a good judge of character.”

The Gulf/Franklin center opened in 1998 and hosts workforce education programs and general education courses.