Jamaican students call for more options at US college fair
Jamaican students exploring the possibility of pursuing tertiary studies overseas have indicated that they want to see a wider variety of available options.
At the same time, the United States Embassy has expressed its openness towards considering their feedback.
The suggestions came yesterday during the second and final day of this year's staging of EducationUSA's College Fair, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
For 16-year-old Ardenne High School 12th-grader Aliyah Peart, the fair was a success and the individuals manning the booths were quite informative.
But she stated, "I expected there to be more universities that are dedicated to mathematics or actuarial science. I would like to double-major in English and actuarial science or mathematical science, and I only saw one option for actuarial science, so, if possible, I would very much like them to add that next year."
Daniel White, 18-year-old upper sixth-former at St Jago High, shared similar sentiments.
"They didn't really have the majors that we wanted to do, such as geology, environmental science, logistics, so on. We kind of came here with a closed mind because we didn't want to do double majors, so there could be more options," he said.
Seventeen-year-old Kayla Wilkinson, an 11th-grader at the American International School of Kingston, who wants to major in marketing, also gave the fair high marks for execution but called for more US institutions to be present at the next staging.
"Most of the schools are seemingly from Florida, so there could be more options, not just in terms of states but different areas of study," she told The Gleaner.
Glenmuir High School sixth-former Shenille Sunanon, 17, had no such sticking points.
She said, "I find that they are catering for us, as they facilitate students that do not only SATs but CAPE and CSEC. It's an excellent fair that is really helpful, even if you're not going overseas."
EducationUSA adviser Jodi-Ann Jones later told The Gleaner that the students' feedback is welcomed and would be taken into consideration for the next staging of the fair.
EDUCATIONUSA'S COLLEGE FAIR FACTS
- Approximately 40 universities participated at this year's college fair.
- The gamut of US universities included community colleges such as Valencia College; small, private liberal arts colleges such as Amherst College; and large, public institutions such as Florida International University.
- Specialised institutions, such as the Aviation Institute of Maintenance and Full Sail University, also flocked to Kingston.
- More than 2,000 Jamaican students participated in the two-day event.
- The number of Jamaican students in the US has increased by 11.4 per cent in the past academic year; a number that US Mission Kingston is firmly committed to steadily improve.