In October 2012, a delegation from the College of The Bahamas visited Abaco to find out the interest in the community regarding college courses being offered on the island. They conducted a town meeting at the Anglican Parish Hall, made a presentation at the Rotary Club luncheon and visited several schools including Abaco Central High School, Agape Christian School and SC Bootle High School.
They left the island with the understanding that an office representing the college would soon open on Abaco.
It took Dr. Chervon Morley, the representative of COB on Abaco, until now to locate a suitable and affordable office space. Her search ended when Jimmy Vaughn, the owner of Mangoes Restaurant and of the adjacent property, offered her a space that had just been vacated.
“I always had an interest in education” stated Mr. Vaughn who said he got involved with COB fifteen years ago while trying to set-up a training program for cooks in his restaurant. The project did not work out but Mr. Vaughn is still of the opinion that trades training is badly needed on the island.
He would like to facilitate the training of young people in the service industry- especially cooking and baking- in electrical licensing, carpentry, solar energy installation and even furniture making. He feels that there are many people on the island such as retired winter visitors and second home owners who have knowledge to impart in those fields and he thinks that an office representing the College of The Bahamas and B T VI would greatly serve the community.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to help COB” he stated.
The COB office located at the back of the Mangoes Marina Office, is now open Monday to Friday from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Dr. Morley is in attendance to answer questions, promote programs, distribute application forms and help students register. She mentioned that ten-week certificate courses for adults are now offered in accounting and in human resources management starting in March. After passing, participants will receive a certificate of completion.
She said that students are already doing college preparation courses online in English and mathematics. By Fall, she predicted, there should be enough students enrolled to have actual classes.
She is presently registering students for computer classes, plumbing, electrical phase I and cake and pastry baking. Any other courses offered under Continuing Education and Extension Services (CEES) at the College of The Bahamas in Nassau could be held on Abaco if there are enough people interested.
The ultimate goal of the College of The Bahamas is to have students attend the first two years of college on Abaco.