Following the appointment in August of Dr. Chervon Mackey-Morley as the new coordinator for College of The Bahamas on Abaco, an open house was held to provide information to interested persons.
To the amazement of the organizers, a lot more people than anticipated (approximately sixty) attended the function that took place at St. John’s Anglican Church Parish Hall on the evening of September 18.
If there is enough interest to sustain the endeavor, residents of Abaco could benefit from a variety of continuing education programs, from academic upgrading to professional certification. Not only adults are targeted, but also students grade 11 and 12 who are being offered college preparation courses, starting January 2013. The Assistant Director of CEES, Mrs. Lorraine Bastian-Jones, who conducted the presentation, said that if there is enough enrolment, the first year of College could also be offered to Abaco students.
She started the power-point presentation by explaining the vision of CEES for Abaco, such as contributing to the improvement of human resources, providing on-going personal and professional training, developing more professional certification in conjunction with other academic divisions of the College of The Bahamas and acquiring a physical accommodation for the Center. The people who would benefit the most from the program, she said, would be high school drop-outs and professionals seeking additional qualifications. However the CEES also offers non-credit personal improvement courses.
Academic credentials courses will allow individuals to enroll into a college. Academic upgrading will offer the possibility of taking language courses (among other subjects) in Spanish, French, Creole and possibly Portuguese and Mandarin, through the International Language & Culture Institute (ILIC)
Business certifications focused on day care or pre-school centers. People interested in pre-school education will be able to register for a series of three courses offering Management and Administration of Infant/ Toddler Day Care Center, followed by Infant/Toddler Day Care Edu-carers Certificate Program and by a third level course, Basic Upgrading Program for Pre-School & Day Care Practitioners.
Trade courses include Plumbing, Master Plumbing, Electrical and Writing and Research Skills. Ms. Bastian-Jones mentioned that several institutions of the United States partner with College of The Bahamas in some of the programs.
The presentation was followed by a question-answer session during which people expressed their concern about the durability of the program for Abaco; others asked for specific subject such as courses for the hospitality industry (not included in phase I); others expressed their gratitude for the benefits the program will give to would-be college students. The requirements for registering to any of the courses were also addressed.
Dr. Mackey-Morley took the stand to stress the opportunity CEES would bring to Abaco if there is enough enrolment and told the audience that local instructors could apply for jobs. If no one is locally qualified to teach, people will be brought from Nassau or on-line classes will be offered.
She reminded people that they had to be prepared for the financial commitment incurred by registering and to look at it as a life investment. Both Dr. Mackey- Morley and Ms. Bastian-Jones urged people to sign the registration sheets before leaving. Their suggestion was upheld by many students who signed not one, but two of the college-prep sheets.
During her stay on Abaco, Ms. Bastian-Jones visited the Department of Education, the New Government Center where she met Administrator Cunningham- a former educator- and Abaco Central High School where she found the computer labs badly missing equipment. On behalf of COB, she pledged to furnish both labs and wire them for internet.
The evening ended with the attendants partaking in a delicious assortment of hors d’oeuvres and fruits.