Students at the St Vincent Community College (SVGCC) have been urged to not live with a sense of entitlement.
Director of the SVGCC Nigel Scott, made the call on Tuesday as he addressed graduands at the 14th annual graduation ceremony of the SVGCC, stressing that in his opinion, there is sense of entitlement by students that seems pervasive these days.
“Rather graduands, I urge you to work hard, seize the opportunities that are available to you, be you and make a positive difference in our world,” Scott told the more than 2000 students who attend the SVGCC, and the 683 students who were graduating.
Addressing the graduands at the Victoria Park, he said nothing limits their excellence.
The Director also spoke about the strides the SVGCC is making and noted that there are students from all walks of life, ethnicity and nationality which includes students from CARICOM, Venezuela, Cuba, Ghana and Nigeria.
“Although most of our local students do not pay tuition fees, we often face situations where many are burdened with the minimal fees we do charge.
“When this happens we are pleased that the Ministry of National Mobilization, the National Lotteries Authority, the Mustique Charitable Foundation, the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan and the Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies are some of our key stakeholders we rely on to assist our students financially,” the Director said.
He noted that as part of their attempts to increase access, the college continues to engage regional and international partners, and they have recently received visits from The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus; the Open Campus; and the Five Islands Campus.
A team from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Central Georgia Technical College also visited the SVGCC and Scott said they are currently working on Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with these institutions to complement the ones they already have at the SVGCC, while improving access to more students.
Scott said as well that the SVGCC is up to date with the needs of students but he singled out 14 students, one posthumously, from the applied associate degree in sports science.
He said that this year’s class is the first cohort in this subject area and through a collaboration with the Ministry of Education, they were able to complete coaching and practical assignments in primary school sports, thus gaining valuable work experience. Scott noted that these students are “ready to hit the ground running”.
Scott noted also that the SVGCC will continue to seek placements that create experiences like this for students, as employers are looking for persons who already have skills to make a difference in the work place.
The other groups of students who have gained valuable work experience are the nursing aides who worked at the Mental Health Centre and the Lewis Punnett Home, and nursing assistants who worked as scrub technicians in the health system.
Scott said these represent the efforts by the SVGCC to train and retool different categories of workers.
The 14th annual graduation ceremony of the SVGCC also heard from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and guest speaker, lawyer Duane Daniel.