678 students graduate from four divisions of SVGCC
June 28, 2013

678 students graduate from four divisions of SVGCC

Six hundred and seventy-eight students from the four divisions of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) officially graduated Tuesday, following the completion of the various programmes.{{more}}

Among the 2013 graduating class, comprising students from the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies, the Division of Teacher Education, the Division of Technical and Vocational Education and the Division of Nursing Education, was the first cohort of part-time students from the Associate Degree Programmes in Business Studies, Information Technology, Paralegal Studies and Psychology.

An additional 31 students from the SVGCC Franchised Bachelor of Arts Programme in Guidance and Counselling from the Jamaica Theological Seminary also received degrees and seven persons received Certificates of Recognition for the Bachelor of Education in Literacy, franchised from the University of the West Indies.

Dr Joel Warrican, out-going director of the SVGCC, in his final presentation, said that in his four years at the education institution, much has been accomplished.

He said that his decision to take up the position as director was not an easy one, particularly as he described himself as an academic.

Warrican said that he, however, saw the position as an opportunity to not only serve his country, but because he too shared the government’s vision that education needed to be given priority if the country was to develop.

“And when I saw all the students getting into secondary school, I thought that it would be a great idea if we could build a platform for tertiary level education,” he said.

For those who challenged universal secondary education, rather than criticize, they should improve on what is being offered he stated.

“Fear and apprehension are a natural path of change, which often causes some to oppose what is clearly beneficial to them.”

And it was with this vision that Warrican said that he was happy to work with a team that helped to develop an institution of excellence.

Warrican said he is proud of the institution and that more attention is being paid to improving the quality of service at the SVGCC.

This included the expansion of programmes and offerings, the widening of groups beyond students just leaving secondary school and upgrading and improving the technological infrastructure.

There are other things that need to improve however, to ensure that the higher institution of learning provides the best product.

He said that the college is working on accreditation, and for those who think that this is no big deal, the SVGCC is the youngest, second to the Anguilla Community College which is now emerging in the region.

But although it is among the youngest institutions of higher learning, it is leading the path in relation to accreditation, Warrican explained.

His words of advice to the graduates were that they need to remember that they are a product of the SVGCC.

He also emphasized the need to give back.

“It is selfish to draw on your country’s resources and not replenish them,” Warrican said.

Delivering the feature address, lawyer Rochelle Forde said that in a world filled with technological advances, it is unacceptable to settle for mediocrity.

She encouraged the graduates to remain motivated and to receive motivation from not just those who support you, but by those who say that you do not have the ability.

“Many of you will be going away to university and away from home for the first time,” Forde said.

However it is important that these students be reminded of their purpose — which is to get an education — she said

In the students’ response, Valedictorian Lornet Prescott said that they were all there as a result of hard work.

But the hard work did not end there.

“For some of us we would be moving on to furthering our studies, and for others we would be seeking employment, but whatever the choice may be, it must bring about a challenge. But note this, as the challenges come your way and you become overwhelmed, don’t give up,” Prescott said.

She said that the two years spent at the Division of Technical and Vocational education were no bed of roses.

“And I know most, if not all of you here can attest to this. But thank God he has given us the strength to fight the good fight. Especially my colleagues from the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies, I know it must not have been easy for you to be learning in an environment swamped by construction work. You certainly deserve a resounding applause for completing your studies amidst the existing circumstances. And for that, I congratulate you on reaching this far. You are destined for great things,” she said.

And although they may not yet fully comprehend the value of all the things they have learned, Prescott said they recognize that if they do the things that they are capable of, they would be astonished.

“The world requires a new generation of scholars who will effect a positive change and go beyond the call of duty; we are part of that generation,” she said.

Prescott received the Divisional Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Small Business; Sherika Deane in the Division of Teacher Education and Kayrel Edwards took the Divisional Award for Excellence in the Department of Natural Sciences of the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies.(DD)