UCC to launch associate degree and college credits programme in high schools
The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) is seeking to partner with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and corporate Jamaica to introduce specific associate degree programmes at selected high schools in St Andrew and nine other parishes.
The initiative, which will be piloted during this year, provides high-school graduates, who have the requisite qualification, with access to either an accredited UCC associate degree or a proposed education ministry occupational associate degree in their own school environment.
In addition, students can matriculate from these programmes into various bachelor degree programmes offered either by the UCC or in conjunction with its partner institutions in Jamaica, Florida International University or the University of London .
Interested students will also be able to matriculate seamlessly into the UOL Bachelor of Laws degree through the UCC, upon completion of their two-year programme.
Under the pilot project, which starts September 2018 in 50 designated private and public high-school clusters, UCC will initially offer up to five associate of science degrees in Business, information technology, hospitality management, business process outsourcing, business process management, supply chain management as well as STEM/STEAM-related programmes.
Early college programme
Students entering grade 12 will now have an opportunity to begin an early college programme similar to the model in the United States. They will earn an accredited ASc degree, which offers 63 college credits on a full-time basis at the end of 24 months, in lieu of pursuing the traditional Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination subjects.
However, if students choose, they will also be able to begin pursuing preliminary courses in July 2018 at their respective high schools, commencing with introductory college credits during the UCC's two-month summer academy for students who have completed grades 10 and 11.
According to UCC Executive Chancellor Professor Dennis Gayle, the associate degrees will deliver a total undergraduate education experience that prepares students for new and expanding careers in business, information technology, law, STEM/STEAM, among others.
He noted that those targeted sectors have long been recognised by the Government as a major training priority for Jamaica in terms of economic, social and human resource development.
Professor Gayle added that the initiative will focus on increasing the technological and business capabilities of qualified high-school graduates, as it has been recognised that the region will become more dependent on the use of modern technological and business solutions for sustaining life and the pace of these sectors.
He disclosed that under a recently signed MOU between UCC and the Students' Loan Bureau, students pursuing the UCC's associate degree programmes will also be eligible for loans during the two-year degree programme.