Sat | May 30, 2020

US college recruiter wants more Jamaicans

Published:Monday | October 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Students from Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay, St James, get information on how to apply to Bryant University in Rhode Island, United States, from Claire Dunning (right), senior assistant director, international admissions, Bryant University, during day one of a two-day college fairat The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Monday.
Students from Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay, St James, who attended the US Embassy College Fair held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Monday.

For young and vibrant Jamaicans seeking to further their studies at a university in the United States, as well as those interested in advancing their sporting skills in a Division One league, Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, has opened its arms wide.

A major advantage applying for a spot at the institution, as explained by Claire Dunning, assistant director for international admissions, is that applicants don't have to sit the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

The Gleaner caught up with Dunning on Monday, during day one of a two-day college fair put on by the United States Embassy at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

"We are an SAT optional school. Students can choose. They can either give us the SAT or they can write three short-answer essays instead of the SAT. Whether they do the test or the essays, they are eligible for the same scholarships, from US$5,000 to US$30,000," Dunning told The Gleaner yesterday.

She boasted of her institution's policy of providing an innovative curriculum, which integrates business studies alongside the liberal arts.

They also participate in 22 Division One sporting disciplines.

"We say everything is a business, so it is important to understand how business works; a hospital, a university or a big corporation. Everything has a corporate structure. But the liberal arts teach our students how to think critically, how to problem-solve and take their creative ideas and shape them into innovations. All of our students have to do a bit of both," Dunning said.




"We have a college of the arts and sciences, and if students want to major in the business field, like data sciences and accounting, then they have to do at least one minor from our school of arts and sciences, in biology, communications, actuarial science or something of that sort. They end up learning both ways of thinking, and vice versa."

She added: "I would like to bring a few more Jamaican students to my university. Jamaicans are fantastic and they bring a lot of vibrancy to our college. We'd love to accept as many applications as we can. We have small classes that focus on applied learning, and we have 22 NCAA Division One teams," she said.

"To apply, students can go to the university's website. They can also send applications through or, then they can send us their transcripts, CSEC/CAPE results and reference letters."

American tertiary experience like nowhere else, says embassy official

Jody-Ann Jones, adviser for Education USA at the United States Embassy, located in St Andrew, said the multicultural experience to be gained by going to school in the US is like no other.

"We have 38 universities and colleges from all over the US. We have approximately 1,000 students registered on our website to participate," Jones said.

She said that for the mini fair scheduled for Hillel Academy in Cherry Gardens, St Andrew, yesterday, a few hundred students were expected as well.

"It is something we do every year, to raise awareness about the benefits of a US tertiary education. The friends you make from all over the world is something you can't get anywhere else."