Hospitality and Culinary Arts Students who are working towards an Associate Degree at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) now have an opportunity to go on to attain a Bachelors degree at the University of Southern Caribbean (USC), thanks to Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed at the college yesterday.
Director of the SVGCC Nigel Scott called the signing of the MOU “a perfect blend. The MOU was signed to formalize and promote educational exchanges between the two institutions. President of USC Dr. Hilary Bowman, Director of SVGCC, Nigel Scott and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Myccle Burke signed the MOU.
The signing took place on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 at the Teachers’ Lounge, SVGCC Villa Campus. It was witnessed by President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission of Seventh-day Adventists Pastor Dermoth Baptiste, Pastors Henry Snagg and Kerry Kerr, Chairperson of the SVGCC Board of Directors Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache and Head of Department Hospitality and Agriculture in the Division of Technical and Vocational Education, Hazel Roberts, among others.
The Director of the SVGCC disclosed that the idea for the collaboration came about when Chief Nutritionist Andrea Robin and the Chairperson of Family and Consumer Science, USC Dr. Claudette Mitchell approached him with the suggestion that steps should be made to ensure swifter completion of studies for students in the Dietetics and Nutrition programmes.
According to Scott, USC students do their internships here then return to Trinidad and Tobago to complete their programme. Hence, they saw the need to relieve students of the hassle of being away from home for too long and having to take study leave.
Scott said Dr. Mitchell went back to Trinidad and came up with the 3+2 collaboration where students in Hospitality and Culinary Arts studies will start their associate degree programmes here with the option of going on to USC to complete their Bachelor degrees. Thus, the MOU gives special consideration to Hospitality and Culinary Arts students as the curriculum for the applied associate degree at SVGCC is quite similar to that of USC except for a few omissions which students will make up for along the way, Scott explained.
Also, the MOU also makes provision for persons interested in pursuing degrees in Dietetics and Nutrition at USC through collaboration with the SVGCC. To this end, the 3+2 collaboration allows students to begin their respective courses in this country for the first 3 years and complete the remaining 2 years at USC, where necessary. The Director of the SVGCC stated that there is a need for Nutritionists and Dieticians: “The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is in need Dieticians because we suffer significantly, in our country, from a number of lifestyle diseases – non-communicable diseases – that have to do with how we eat… manage our own lifestyle and health”.
Scott said he is looking forward to “our students and Vincentians taking advantage of this opportunity. He said “this year alone we have over 70 students in the first year of Hospitality at this College... We have a number of students and graduates who would be in a position to take advantage of this MOU.
The University of the Southern Caribbean is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is located in Maracas Valley, Trinidad and Tobago with six other sites around the Caribbean. USC is accredited by two accrediting bodies, namely, Triple A of the United States and the Accrediting Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT).