The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), the international agency responsible for the development of Caribbean tourism, has secured more than US$250,000 in scholarship funds to assist Caribbean students pursuing further education in tourism-related subjects.
The CTO and Monroe College in the United States, which has been educating Caribbean students for the past 20 years, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect at the Caribbean Week closing news conference recently.
Monroe College will commit US$83,600 annually to the CTO to provide scholarships and grants to at least 30 highly qualified Caribbean citizens who are interested in pursuing full-time studies or advancing their careers in the tourism sector.
These scholarships will be for first-time students who register at Monroe College in the United States or St Lucia, or for the college’s online course. As part of the agreement negotiated by the CTO’s New York office, the scholarship awards will range from US$4,500 to US$18,660 annually, and will be equally distributed over three semesters.
“It is expected that collaborative relationships can be established that will strengthen educational and business ties between the two parties while providing the highest quality of education to students enrolled at the institution,” the two parties stated.
The deal is for three years in the first instance, but will be reviewed each year. The relationship between CTO and Monroe College began in late 2010 when a Trinidad and Tobago national, Tamika Keane, became the recipient of the first-ever scholarship offered by Monroe College as part of the CTO Foundation Scholarship Programme.
Founded in 1933, Monroe College is recognised as a leading provider of focused, career-oriented, quality education which integrates classroom learning with real-world experience. The college, which also has an offshore campus on the island of St Lucia, is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Associations of Colleges and Schools in the United States.
The CTO offers scholarships and grants through its scholarship programme, the CTO Foundation, which was set up in 1997, and is registered in New York State as a not-for-profit corporation. The academic dean at Monroe College, Michele Rodney, signed on behalf of the education institution, while the CTO chairman, Ricky Skerritt, signed for the organisation.