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  • Acting Principal of the Montego Bay Community College, Dr. Maureen Nelson, says the institution is expanding its range of courses in order to continue the transformation of the education landscape in western Jamaica.
  • Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ at the agency’s Union Street offices, in Montego Bay, St. James, on November 7, Dr. Nelson said the expansion is being done because there is a growing demand for these programmes, and through partnerships with other local tertiary institutions as well as at least one in Canada.
  • Over the last 40 years, the college has been offering courses at both the Associate and Bachelor’s Degree levels to persons seeking tertiary education in Arts and Sciences, Computer and Technical Studies, Business, and Hospitality and Creative Studies.

Acting Principal of the Montego Bay Community College, Dr. Maureen Nelson, says the institution is expanding its range of courses in order to continue the transformation of the education landscape in western Jamaica.

These programmes include an Associate Degree in Funeral Service and Mortuary Sciences and a Bachelor’s Degree in Plant Science, a course which has been gaining popularity among students.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ at the agency’s Union Street offices, in Montego Bay, St. James, on November 7, Dr. Nelson said the expansion is being done because there is a growing demand for these programmes, and through partnerships with other local tertiary institutions as well as at least one in Canada.

“We have partnerships with the University of Technology, the University of the West Indies, Humber College in Canada, HEART and Jamaica-German Automotive School (JAGAS),” she said.

The Hospitality and Creative Studies programme is the flagship at the Community College, and Dr. Nelson said the institution has a proud reputation in producing quality students for the hospitality sector, with most becoming gainfully employed during or shortly after completing their practical work experiences at major resorts in Jamaica.

She added that the College is still basking in the success of a group of its Management Information Systems (MIS) students who developed the highly rated calculator application – JAMCAL – as part of their final-year studies.

“This app allows students to calculate their PAYE and their GPA. This has been engaging to the students, because in the past they would have to wait until the end of the semester to know how they are doing with their grades,” the Acting Principal said.

She explained that the college seeks to develop students from a holistic standpoint and as a result they are allowed opportunities to participate in sports, social and civic club activities, which empower them to become productive men and women entering the working world.

In an effort to reach out to its students, Dr. Nelson said an in-house scholarship programme has been established to reward high achievers. These scholarships are named in honour of persons who have played a developmental role at the college, including retired educator Dr. Simon Clarke; the institution’s first principal, Ivy Townsend; and business leaders Barbara Nelson and Giuseppe Maffesanti.

The Montego Bay Community College is the oldest multidisciplinary tertiary institution in western Jamaica, having opened its doors in 1975. It has an enrolment of 1,920 students and a staff complement of 111 at both its St. James location and the Westmoreland (Frome) subcampus, which came on stream in 2004.

Over the last 40 years, the college has been offering courses at both the Associate and Bachelor’s Degree levels to persons seeking tertiary education in Arts and Sciences, Computer and Technical Studies, Business, and Hospitality and Creative Studies.