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UCC Report: The UCC business advantage

Published:Sunday | March 28, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Created within the framework of a marketplace that is constantly demanding a more-qualified and well-trained workforce, the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) is an institution which adapts to these as well as other needs associated with this dynamic environment. Established from the 2004 merger of the Institute of Management and Production (1972) and the Institute of Management and Science (1992), the UCC has certainly perpetuated a functional systemic approach to entrepreneurialism and innovation. This is mirrored in the diversity of the programmes offered at the institution. The UCC offers four master of science degrees, offered in conjunction with the Florida International University (FIU); a total of 13 bachelor of science and arts degrees; as well as several associate, diploma and certificate programmes. At the centre of all the programmes offered, there is a pervading commitment to growing the intellectual capital of all the students and business partners who entrust the UCC with the commitment to growth of self and community.

Why should the pursuit of intellectual and personal growth be hindered by time and place? Indeed, the UCC has graduated more than 65,000 individuals who were able to accomplish their personal and professional goals of higher education despite, in many instances, maintaining full-time jobs and family obligations. Furthermore, the UCC offers efficient abbreviated executive oriented programmes, which may be executed through on-the-job or internal training. This is facilitated by partnerships formed during the period 1999-2000, with institutions including, Howard University, Penn State University and the University of Florida. The UCC endeavours to work with its clients/business partners to ensure the optimal exploitation of all resources invested. Undoubtedly, the achievements of the UCC are also those of the wider business community that it impacts. This operating framework reflects the personal beliefs of its founder Winston Adams. Adams is himself constantly engaged in higher learning, and is, therefore, most aware of the needs of students, who may have other obligations.

academic community

The UCC is an innovative member of the business and academic community, and is the recipient of several prestigious awards. Most recently, the institution is a 2010 nominee for the Best of the Chamber Award by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC). This award recognises JCC member companies "that have met the highest levels of sector performance and best practices in the areas of corporate leadership, product and service quality; human resource development, marketing innovation, viability and sustained growth, as well as a commitment to community development and good corporate citizenship". The UCC is also the 2006 recipient of the JCC Award for the medium-sized business category, as well as the 2003 and 2005 Entrepreneurial Award.

The structure and delivery of all the programmes are consistent firstly with the needs of the client. One of the most successful degrees offered by UCC is the FIU Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA), which was introduced in 1998. This programme is delivered over a period of 20 months in two cohorts, and is facilitated by tenured FIU business faculty. The UCC advantage is best highlighted by the use of the most effective or best-suited delivery method for lectures; as such, highly-qualified academics, relevant industry experts and business training consultants are all widely utilised, as deemed necessary. The most fundamental basis of all UCC programmes is building critical competencies, delivering indispensable business knowledge and fostering a strategic mindset. Knowledge is not merely taught, there is a focus on making it practicable. All the students, clients and business partners will be able to use the UCC experience to improve the business environment they are or will become a part of.