Jamaican students pursuing courses through the Joint Commission for Tertiary Education (JCTE), at the Ohio- based Hocking College will be able to benefit from scholarships valued at US$2,196 per semester as of March this year.
This flows from recent partnership agreements signed between the tertiary institutions through the Centre of Occupational Studies (COS) in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. Some 500 students under the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) targeted for enrolment as of March 2017 are eligible to benefit from the scholarships.
Once students have NVQJ level - 2 certification, they can access these scholarship programmes at Hocking College - USA almost immediately through the Ministry of Education’s COS office or the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education.
To date, Hocking College has signed four partnership agreements with colleges in Jamaica. Each partnership provides the opportunity to develop specialized degree articulation agreements and opportunities for student and staff to study abroad.
Under the degree pathway model developed with the JCTE, Hocking College will offer college credit plus courses delivered in Jamaica as well as summer classes offered at in the United States.
Hocking College - USA has had a longstanding relationship with Jamaica for more than 30 years, starting with its founding president, Dr John Light. The relationship was established with the Jamaica Tourist Board, the University of Technology (UTech) and the Western Hospitality Institute.
Several private sector organisations such as Sandals Resort International, Super Clubs and Couples hotels together have sent thousands of Jamaicans to Hocking College - USA on scholarships either funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Hocking College or companies in the Jamaican tourism industry. The relationship was dormant over the past ten years however, after Dr Light retired.
In October 2016, a team from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information visited Hocking College to look at their Occupational Degree and to see how Jamaican institutions could partner with the college. A new relationship was forged with the current president of Hocking College - Dr. Berry Young & Vice President Ms. Myriah Davis and Dr Cecil Cornwall representing the JCTE.
With the endorsement of Senator Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information and Dr. Grace Mclean, Chief Education Officer, Dr Cornwall headed a delegation of senior executives from the Ministry, HEARTTRUST/NTA, JTEC, Community Colleges and Teachers Colleges to Hocking.
On their return, the president and vice president of Hocking College travelled to Jamaica to sign several MOUs and in the presence of Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Senator Reid, an overarching MOU was signed. Other benefits to Jamaican students are expected to flow from the MOUs
Hocking College has described its offer to Jamaica as part of its global outreach thrust. Vice President Davis said this partnership initiative will provide a global context for academic learning and a vital opportunity for students to expand the scope of their knowledge and be better prepared to succeed in a global economy.
Pathways being developed include degree programmes among multiple JCTE partners in Culinary Arts, Hotel Restaurant Management, Health Information Management, Music, Cyber Security, Criminal Justice, Construction Management, Massage Therapy, Ecotourism, Agro ecology, Business, Geo-environment, Heavy Equipment, GIS/GPS and water/Wastewater Management.
CAPTION: Dr Berry Young (centre), president of Hocking College, USA signs a Memorandum of Understanding at the recent launch of the Occupational Studies Degree Programme in Montego Bay, St. James. Looking on are from left Mr Dean-Roy Bernard, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Minister, Senator Ruel Reid, Prime Minister Andrew Holness (second right), and Dr Cecil Cornwall, chairman of the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education.