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Bermuda College Annual Report 2016/2017

Friday, November 17, 2017
The Hon. Diallo Rabain

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

Mr. Speaker,
This morning I am pleased to lay before the House the 2016/2017 Annual Report for the Bermuda College as required by the Bermuda College Act, 1974.  While this is an important exercise in accountability, it is also an opportunity to share with Honourable Members the continued progress that Bermuda College is making. 

Mr. Speaker,
Under the Bermuda College Act, its Board of Governors provides general management and administrative leadership to the College.  The President and staff of the College are responsible for bringing the goals, direction and approved policies of the Board into action. These undertakings are reflected in the annual report and will be supported by the 2016/17 audited financial statements, once completed by the Office of the Auditor General; and, which will be tabled at a later date.  The Office of the Auditor General is currently working on the 2015/2016 statements.

Mr. Speaker,
Let me now share with my Honourable colleagues some of the accomplishments of the Bermuda College during the previous academic year. One of the more significant events was the historic success in various programmes of study. Graduates of the Associate in Science (Nursing) programme reached another milestone by passing the nursing licensure examination and earning their internationally recognized RN designation.  This achievement signaled international approval of the nursing curriculum at Bermuda College, by the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and New York State’s Department of Education. 

Mr. Speaker,
In addition to this, for the first time in history, four (4) public senior school students enrolled in the Bermuda College dual enrolment programme, graduated with an associate degree and their high school diplomas literally weeks apart. Also, more than fifty percent of Bermuda College graduates were accepted with advanced standing to various universities and colleges throughout Canada, the Caribbean, United Kingdom and the United States. These successes must be celebrated in that our Bermuda College graduates are excelling and being equipped at a level to compete with their counter peers in the larger countries.

Mr. Speaker,
In September 2016, Bermuda College welcomed its first cohort of approximately 25 dual enrolment public senior school upper classmen into a newly established Applied Technology Certificate programme.  This two-year programme allows high school S3 students, to explore various technical disciplines while enhancing mathematics, science, communication and computer skills. It is anticipated that this programme will encourage more high school students to consider technical careers.

Mr. Speaker,
In October 2016, Bermuda College partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to host the Fifth International Colloquium on Black Males in Education, in fulfilment of one of its strategic goals. The Conference theme, “Educational Transitions and Life Trajectories: Bridging Pathways to Success for Black Males”, provided a forum for local and international educators, researchers and community activists to educate participants on global research strategies that inform education policies and programmes.

Mr. Speaker,
Bermuda College faculty and staff continue to represent the College and the community well, both locally and internationally in their varying areas of expertise. Of special note is the Research Award received by Mr. Shawn Deshields, Senior Computer Information Systems and Hospitality Lecturer, from the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines.

Also, Ms. Tawana Flood, the Director of the Professional and Career Education Division (PACE) was invited to participate in a 10-day International Visitor Leadership Program, entitled “Workforce Development”. This was facilitated by the division of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in conjunction with the U.S. Consulate in Bermuda. The group travelled to four states, visiting seven cities and met with over 50 individuals to explore, compare and contrast workforce development issues.

Mr. Speaker,
The areas of enrolment, retention and graduation remain the key pillars contributing to student success for students at Bermuda College. Retention of students saw an appreciable increase from 56% to 71% year over year and there was also a 16% increase in the number of graduates in May 2016.  However, while student satisfaction rates remain high, at above 80%, the College has been experiencing declining enrolment for varied reasons including: the lingering effects of a sluggish economic recovery for many in the College’s target market; the declining birth rate; and the fact that many parents still opt to send their child(ren) overseas to school directly from high school. 

The development of key strategies has started to confront these challenges as BC prepares to launch its 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. Recruitment efforts to increase enrolment continued in earnest. The Communications Team launched monthly mobile recruitment stations in the Washington Mall to carry the BC message to the community. In the eight months of its inception, approximately one in five persons were converted into a registered student at BC. 

Mr. Speaker,
During Summer 2016, four interns from the Computer Information Systems (CIS) programme represented Bermuda College at the Technology Leadership Forum (TLF).   The TLF is a 12-week summer internship programme sponsored by the local IT industry and designed to prepare students for a career in the Information Technology industry.

 

Mr. Speaker,
In March 2017, Twelve local Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) were recognised at Camden House as the first graduating cohort of the pilot programme of a partnership between the College, the Bermuda Hospitals Board, and the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service. The local programme was validated by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), and this was the first time that the National Registry has been allowed to be used outside of the United States.

 

Mr. Speaker,
Bermuda College launched the promotional video on the Brian Burland Centre for Research in February 2017, in efforts to attract graduate students and researchers to the wealth of information on the works of the Bermudian author and playwright.

Also, to increase student engagement and more effectively communicate with its students, the first phase of a student-centred Bermuda College mobile app was implemented and released for easy download to end user’s mobile devices.  The College is expecting to have the app fully implement in Fall 2017. 

Mr. Speaker,
Other College activities of note during this reporting period include, but are not limited to:-

    1. Establishment of the Bermuda College Testing & Assessment Centre;
    2. Completion of articulation agreements with the Savannah College of Art & Design, Framingham State University and Newbury College;
    3. BC’s participation in community activities, e.g. the Relay for Life, Heroes Weekend, and End-to-End;
    4. Publication of Voices in Education Volume 2 – Transforming Education for the 21st Century:  New thinking, New Action”; and
    5. Completion of the Human Resource Optimisation report by PwC.

Mr. Speaker,
I have only highlighted some of the achievements during the 2016/2017 fiscal year, and would encourage the general public to read through the annual report that can be found on the Bermuda College website to see how Bermuda College is progressing forward in its mission of setting Bermuda’s students on their paths to success.

Thank You Mr. Speaker!

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