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The Applied Technology Certificate Programme at the Bermuda College

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ministerial Statement by the Minister of Education and Workforce Development, The Hon. Diallo V. Rabain, JP, MP:

Mr. Speaker,
I rise this morning to inform the Members of this Honourable House and the listening audience, about the Applied Technology Certificate Programme, that is currently being offered at the Bermuda College for our S3 and S4 high school students.
Mr. Speaker,
The Applied Technology Certificate Programme is facilitated by both the Department of Education and the Bermuda College. It was first introduced in the Fall of 2016. The Programme is designed to help prepare our public senior school students from the CedarBridge Academy and the Berkeley Institute, graduate while simultaneously acquiring key hands-on skills necessary to enter the job market.
Mr. Speaker,
The Applied Technology Certificate Programme is a two-year learning experience that involves S3 students (year 1) and S4 students (year 2) who range from age 16 to 18 years old. At the completion of the programme, it is expected that senior school students will not only graduate from High School, but also receive the Applied Technology Certificate from the Bermuda College. At graduation, students would have also completed a work experience or internship with an industry partner during the final semester of their programme studies.

Mr. Speaker,
Senior school students had to meet specific admission requirements to be accepted into the Applied Technology Certificate Programme. These requirements included:

  • Completion of the S2 level of high school (which means they would have already sat the Cambridge IGCSEs);
  • Parent consent;
  • Interview with a Bermuda College counselor to determine student interest.

Mr. Speaker,
The Applied Technology Certificate Progamme includes introductory courses to technical careers such as carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, automotive mechanics and information technology. Students enrolled in this programme must also take courses that include Physics, Applied Mathematics, English Language Arts, and a College Success course which is an essential component of the programme. This College Success course teaches students proven study skills and also prepares them for the college course work experience.

Mr. Speaker,
This is the second year offering for the Applied Technology Certificate Programme. Currently there are a total of forty five (45) students enrolled in the programme. The first cohort comprised twenty one (21) male students; eleven (11) from CedarBridge Academy and ten (10) from the Berkeley Institute.  The second cohort of students, who enrolled in the programme this year, September 2017, included female students. Of the twenty four (24) students enrolled in the Applied Technology Certificate Programme, eight (8) male students attend CedarBridge while thirteen (13) male and three (3) female students attend the Berkeley Institute.

Mr. Speaker,
Let me share what a schedule would look like for our senior students enrolled in the programme. Students attend classes at the Bermuda College three days a week; every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am until 4:30pm. On Mondays and Fridays students attend regular classes at their respective senior school.  Those students who enrolled as the first cohort, are now experiencing real college life commitment in that sometimes they remain on campus into early evenings to complete work assignments.

Mr. Speaker,
Our public school students are developing life-long skills of how to adapt to changing learning environments. When they are at the Bermuda College, they are viewed as college freshman or sophomore students, versus when they return back to their respective high schools, they revert to school uniforms and being in a more restrictive learning environment. Nonetheless, our students are doing extremely well in that 88% or 18 of the first cohort of 21 students who enrolled in the programme in September 2016, are still attending classes. They are on track to graduate in May 2018 from the Bermuda College with their Applied Technology Certificate; and then graduate weeks later in June 2018, from their senior school with the Bermuda School Diploma.

Mr. Speaker,
The instructors in the Applied Technology Certification Programme at the Bermuda College are doing an excellent job teaching and inspiring our students in the field of technical education. I can personally attest to this, as I was a guest lecturer for the first year of the program, teaching an Intro to Computer Aided Drafting and 3-D Modeling.  The students were engaged and eager to learn and but he end of the semester, we able to produce basic 3-D Models of various object using the computer.  The intent was to eventually obtain a 3-D printer to allow the students to print the various objects they designed. I am happy to report that the Bermuda College has obtained a 3-D printer and I look forward to seeing it in action in the near future.
Mr. Speaker,
This semester the instructors organized a ‘pop up’ programme entitled, “Walk- In-Wednesdays” where industry partners and guests are invited to attend a presentation session put on by the students at the College to observe how the students are engaging in the practical application of technical education to obtain solutions. After going through a period of theoretical classroom study and learning, students must then choose how they could translate the theory into practice by building and designing presentations. This is what makes this programme so exciting.  I attended a ‘Walk-in-Wednesday’ session on October 18th 2017; and I was absolutely impressed. At this session I witnessed four very practical and thoughtful presentations given by our students.
Mr. Speaker,
The first presentation was about virtual reality; the second involved the building of an automotive garage and home entertainment car audio center. The third presentation focused on network security and energy conservation; while the final presentation which was absolutely brilliant focused on public transportation and a parking tracker app. It demonstrated how the Department of Public Transportation can actually track and inform the public about buses that are either delayed or out of service. It was amazing how our public senior students had put theory into practice to build such solutions.
Mr. Speaker,
All presentations made by the young men were commendable. I strongly encourage my Honourable colleagues to attend a Walk-in-Wednesday session. The dates for the remaining session for this year will be:  

  • Wednesday, November 29th 2017 (9:00am – 10:30am)

To attend a Walk-in-Wednesday, one can call Dr. Trescott Wilson, the Dean of Technical Education, Business & Hospitality and/or Mr. Delroy Musson, Chairman of Technical Education, at the Bermuda College.
Mr. Speaker,
In closing, I extend sincere thanks to Dr. Randell Tankard and Mr. Iman Gibbons for their support from the Department of Education.  I would also like to thank the instructors at the Bermuda College in this Programme who under the leadership of the Dean, Dr. Trescott Wilson have committed to the development of our senior school students enrolled in the Applied Technology Certificate Programme. Their continued efforts challenging our students to perform at a higher level, helps to ensure they graduate from the Bermuda Public School System having the requisite skills to enter the job market.

Thank you Mr. Speaker!   

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