June 26, 2015
Nothing wrong with pursuing Associate degree at SVGCC – Director

There is nothing wrong with pursuing an Associate degree at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC).

This declaration was made this week by director of SVGCC Nigel Scott, during his address at the college’s sixth annual graduation ceremony.{{more}}

According to Scott, Associate degree programmes represent an alternative pathway to work and are designed to offer matriculation at minimum and advanced placement into a Bachelor’s degree programme, at best.

“There is nothing wrong with an Associate degree. The pharmacist who filled your prescription last week probably has one. The lab technician, who ran your lab test, also has one. What is important is that any associate degree worth its salt be one that has been developed under a certain amount of rigour, where standards are set and maintained. In addition, it must provide a pathway for upward mobility,” he said.

The college director noted that SVGCC developed their Associate degree programmes following the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institution (ACTI) model.

Furthermore, he noted that the college has been receiving favourable reports from past students about getting advanced placement in programmes at universities like Munroe College, UWI and the University of Technology in Jamaica.

“We have been seeking matriculation and advanced placement for our programmes within the region and beyond. Most recently, we have had conversations with the Memorial University and St Mary’s University School of Business in Canada and other schools like St Mary’s towards such arrangement. We continue to hear of the excellent stories of students who completed our Associate degree programmes and earned advanced placement in related Bachelor’s programmes,” Scott said.

In September 2014, Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace described the Associate degrees offered at the SVGCC as a waste, as they were not accredited or recognized by the University of the West Indies.

Later that month, pro vice-chancellor and chair of the board of undergraduate studies of the UWI Alan Cobley revealed that anyone holding an Associate degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 from tertiary level institutions in the region could use those qualifications to gain entry into degree programmes at the UWI.(BK)