Director, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts School of Continuing Education and Allied Programmes, Leighton Jones.
Photo: Contributed

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) is the sole tertiary institution in the English-speaking Caribbean offering specialized training in an array of programmes in the visual and performing Arts.

The College’s School of Continuing Education and Allied Programmes (SCEAP), through its range of short courses, provides viable options for persons to upgrade their skills and learn new ones in order to create additional income streams, or just for a hobby.

The School’s Director, Leighton Jones, tells JIS News that the institution’s offerings include leisure programmes for adults in the Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Drama and Arts Management.

Courses offered under these programmes include: photography, ceramics, animation, jewellery making, interior design and decorating, stage lighting, acting and directing, voice and speech, music theory and instrumental, modern and folk dance, project management, events management, fundamentals of events management and planning, and legal practices.

Mr. Jones points out that the programmes are accredited by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), adding that the quality assurance systems in place at the EMCVPA aim to ensure that the provisions are as robust as they can be.

The entry requirement for the continuing education leisure programmes is an expressed interest in any area of study.

These programmes are a semester long, which may run from September to December or January to May.

Meanwhile, the EMCVPA’s Junior Academy also offers courses through its leisure programme, which target children aged 4-17.

Students have the opportunity to participate in ballet, modern and creative dance, instrumental and music making, junior theatre workshop, elements of drama, arts and craft, animation, and computer graphics.

Director of Marketing and Communications at EMCVPA, Coleen Douglas, says the courses are affordable, compared to similar offerings at other institutions.

Director of Marketing and Communications, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Coleen Douglas.


“Our programmes are intense… but we have to make them affordable and accessible. We are mindful of the times, especially with what is happening because of the [coronavirus] COVID-19 pandemic and what it would have done peoples’ financial stability,” she says, while pointing out that “we did not increase our fees for this [2020/21] academic year”.

“Choosing ‘Edna’ also means you will be exposed to some of the best local and international lecturers, and amenities in terms of dance studios, lighting, and mirroring, which are perfect. So you [will be] getting more than what you pay for,” Miss Douglas adds.

The EMCVPA’s short courses are not limited to single semesters, as the institution also offers one and two-year certifications, based on the programme selected.

Among these are: Fundamentals in Dance Techniques, Fundamentals in Music Literacy and Performance, and Technical Theatre. There is the Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Education, which targets persons with a Fine Arts Degree who are interested in teaching the Arts.

This course will be offered online in conjunction with Ohio State University in the United States.

The EMCVPA’s motto is ‘Creative Education… Flexible Access’, and a hallmark of this noble institution’s flexibility is its access to credit initiative.

Mr. Jones discloses that students desirous of enrolling in the full time four-year programmes but have not met the matriculation requirement of five Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, are allowed to take 11 credits of their first year while they are preparing for CSEC, which is also facilitated for Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). Mr. Jones says EMCVPA has long explored and given consideration to online/virtual learning.

However, against the background of COVID-19 and the need to adapt, in this regard, to the new normal, he says “we were pushed little faster [to implement this feature]… so we now offer courses online”.

Applications are now being accepted for courses that start in January 2021. Application forms can be downloaded from the institution’s website.

For further information, persons may call 876-619-EDNA (3362) Ext: 2040-2; visit their website:; Facebook and Instagram at ednamanleycollege; twitter: emc_jamaica, email:, or via WhatsApp: 876-407-4045.

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