Community Colleges to have Greater Autonomy


The island’s community colleges will be granted greater autonomy under the Ministry of Education and Youth’s four-year strategic plan for the tertiary education sector, while the role of the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) will be further clarified.
Senior Education Officer in the Tertiary Unit, Dr. Yvonnette Marshall, said that according to the newly completed policy, which covers the period 2006 to 2010, “the CCCJ will manage the tertiary level programme offerings at community and multi-disciplinary colleges”.
She was addressing the opening of the Excelsior Community College’s annual staff retreat and workshop at the Jamaica Conference Centre downtown Kingston this morning (June 19).
The Council, she noted further, will supervise and co-ordinate the work of community colleges, promote their interests, provide professional development opportunities for staff members; manage the solicitation or receipt of grants, donations, prizes or gifts on behalf of community colleges; establish admission criteria and collaborate with other institutions in the provision of educational opportunities.
“We recognize that there needs to be the appropriate legislative framework for the community college in Jamaica. Furthermore there needs to be a greater level of autonomy among community colleges, and so the journey is not complete but the work has begun in earnest,” she noted.
Dr. Marshall paid homage to the founder of the Excelsior Community College, Dr. Wesley Powell, whose vision, she noted, remained with the college. She said that as a pioneer, Excelsior has set the pace and standards for the island’s community colleges and has influenced others throughout the region.
She described Excelsior as “a bastion of the process of lifelong learning” while lauding such achievements as the launch of the Bachelor of Science nursing programme in partnership with the University of the West Indies, Mona, and other bachelors programmes in Tourism, Computing and Business Studies; the opening of a new campus in Wesley Grove, St. Thomas; the establishment of an additional Kingston campus at Camp Road, and for achieving accreditation for associates and bachelors degrees from the University Council of Jamaica.
The workshop was attended by 180 employees of the Excelsior Community College as well as representatives from Portmore Community College, Knox Community College, Moneague Community College and the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE).
The two-day workshop was held under the theme: ‘Delivering Education in a Changing Environment – Psychosocial and technological implications’.

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