Angelo Laurence, Gleaner Writer
BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAINS reaching for the horizon, rays of sunlight glistening on the trees in the distance are nurturing the environment for learning at the new campus of the Catholic College of Mandeville (CCM) in Williamsfield to the east of Mandeville.
The ultra-modern facility opened it doors to students on Monday after more than 15 years at its old campus on Caledonia Road, Mandeville.
With learning facilities that rival those of any institution adequately prepared to meet the training rigors of the global community, the 24-year-old college has developed from a one-room teacher-training institution, established in 1992, to become an educational force to be reckoned with.
Mindful that its founder, the late Bishop Paul Boyle, wanted to ensure that those with the desire and will to upgrade their educational status were afforded the opportunity despite their financial status, the board of management has sought to hold tuition fees to affordable levels.
Moving from an initial student population of 18 to in excess of 1,000 last year, CCM offers courses from the diploma level to a masters in education. It has also partnered with the St Mary's University of Minnesota in the United States to offer a master's in teaching and learning.
When The Gleaner visited the school on Monday, some students said the new campus gave them added pride and boosted their commitment to do their best to learn. Its new technology-driven structure, said fourth-year student Alesia White, "will enable access to a 21st-century institution, ready to positively influence the educational requirements for the fast-paced and technologically savvy society the world has become". Another student pointed out that unlike many educational institutions, the new campus has an elevator system to accommodate the physically challenged.
Development officer at CCM, Everton Tyndale, said when students graduate from CCM, they are prepared to impart knowledge to those they teach using appropriate modalities.
A major portion of the campus remains unfinished, however, due to financial constraints, Tyndale noted, while indicating that donations or assistance to ensure its early completion would be welcome.