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  • Community colleges across the island will now be offering a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work under a five-year agreement between the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) and the Jamaica Theological Seminary (JTS).
  • Representatives of the entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the arrangement, during a function at the JTS’s campus on Constant Spring Road on October 8.
  • The Montego Bay Community College’s Westmoreland campus will be the first institution to offer the accredited degree programme.

Community colleges across the island will now be offering a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work under a five-year agreement between the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) and the Jamaica Theological Seminary (JTS).

Representatives of the entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the arrangement, during a function at the JTS’s campus on Constant Spring Road on October 8.

The Montego Bay Community College’s Westmoreland campus will be the first institution to offer the accredited degree programme. Currently, 156 students are enrolled in the programme, which will commence in January 2016.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, President of the JTS, Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper, noted that the students, who were previously only able to do an associate degree, will now be able to upgrade their qualifications.

“We look forward to a long partnership and the successful impact that the programme will have. We are bringing education into the communities where people can earn and study at the same time and persons won’t have to travel long distances to access it,” he added.

In noting the value of the partnership with the CCCJ, Rev. Roper said there is increasing demand for higher qualifications in the field of social work.

“We live in a social space in Jamaica and the Caribbean where there is a lot of dysfunction because of the legacy of inequality; because of the way our economy has developed…we have a lot of social dysfunction. There is need for a kind of wellness intervention and social work responds to that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the CCCJ, Dr. Donna Powell-Wilson, said the MoU has set the foundation for other areas of collaboration.

“We want to collaborate and research on issues that are affecting tertiary institutions and the country in general. So, it is not only the franchising of programmes that we are looking at but we want to explore the possibility of faculty exchange, where we learn from your faculty, and your faculty will learn from ours. I am anticipating that we will grow from this initial signing,” the CCCJ Director noted.

The Bachelor in Social Work is among four degree programmes offered by the JTS that are accredited by the University Council of Jamaica.

The others are: Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, and Bachelor of Arts in Guidance and Counselling.

Under the specifications of the MoU, the institutions will share joint information including the articulation of accredited programmes, joint associate and Bachelor’s degree programmes, collaborative research projects and technology initiatives, income generating projects, staff development and training, electives and continuing education programmes, joint publications, among other things.