Minister: This Is Good News For Bermuda College

November 27, 2015

In the House of Assembly today [Nov 27], Minister of Education Wayne Scott congratulated Bermuda College on its recent re-accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Minister Scott said, “This morning I rise before this Honourable House to first congratulate Bermuda College on its recent re-accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges [NEASC], Commission for Institutions of Higher Education; and secondly to share with this Honorable House and the people of Bermuda the significance of accreditation to our students who are contemplating post-secondary education at the College.

“Bermuda College was first accredited in 2010 for an initial period of five years. In March 2015, the College completed its Self-study for re-accreditation, culminating in a visit by the NEASC Site Visit Team and the recent announcement of its reaccreditation success.

“At its meeting in September 2015, the NEASC Commission resolved that Bermuda College remain accredited and that its next comprehensive evaluation would not be required until 2025 or in 10 years.

“This is indeed good news for Bermuda College and for Bermuda,” continued the Minister. “As the island’s only post-secondary institution, this independent validation proves that Bermuda College, after rigorous scrutiny, has met and continues to meet the required standards for recognized quality education. ”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, This morning I rise before this Honourable House to first congratulate Bermuda College on its recent re-accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges [NEASC], Commission for Institutions of Higher Education; and secondly to share with this Honorable House and the people of Bermuda the significance of accreditation to our students who are contemplating post-secondary education at the College.

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda College was first accredited in 2010 for an initial period of five years. In March 2015, the College completed its Self-study for re-accreditation, culminating in a visit by the NEASC Site Visit Team and the recent announcement of its reaccreditation success.

At its meeting in September 2015, the NEASC Commission resolved that Bermuda College remain accredited and that its next comprehensive evaluation would not be required until 2025 or in 10 years.

Mr. Speaker, This is indeed good news for Bermuda College and for Bermuda. As the island’s only post-secondary institution, this independent validation proves that Bermuda College, after rigorous scrutiny, has met and continues to meet the required standards for recognized quality education.

This has been demonstrated in its substantial compliance with established qualitative standards; its integrity in statements to the public about its programmes; its institutional commitment to improvement; and its sufficiency of institutional resources. The College has proven that it possesses sufficient human, fiscal and physical resources, as well as the commitment of its faculty and support staff to ultimately fulfill its mission of ensuring student success.

Mr. Speaker, Accreditation is important to Bermuda College as it is about providing options and opportunities for its students. Through its 17 articulation agreements and the more than 100 overseas institutions that its graduates have transferred to, Bermuda College students complete their associate degree at the College at a tremendous savings, and are then accepted into the third year of a four-year college or university—some of which offer tuition discounts and other financial incentives.

In addition to the excellent value this arrangement provides, students at Bermuda College enjoy the benefit of small class sizes; the ability to work while they study; and are afforded tremendous networking opportunities with prospective employers. It is a win-win situation for our graduates who have cited these reasons as a real benefit of attending the College time and time again.

Mr. Speaker, The accreditation has also augured well for professional and career-minded individuals who continue to avail themselves of the international organizations and agencies that offer a myriad of credentialed and professional designation programmes through Bermuda College.

The NEASC Commission in its detailed report commended the College for its contribution to the local economy through the development of its Associate of Science [Nursing] degree in response to Bermuda’s need to train more local nurses.

The College was also applauded for the local and international internships and other short-term work placements it provides. Accreditation is not only important to Bermuda College and its students but also for our island as we endeavor to provide a quality pool of human resource capital to remain competitive.

Mr. Speaker, With more students taking advantage of the home fees offered to Bermudians studying in the United Kingdom, Bermuda College is seeking more articulation agreements with European institutions, and is giving strong consideration to offering an A ‘level exam option at the College in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I have requested the Bermuda College to take the lead in establishing a Task Force that includes educators from both the public and private high schools. The Task Force will be asked to consider alternative and additional pathways for our local students to earn a baccalaureate degree both on island and off island. As the island’s only tertiary institution, it is crucial that both its quality offerings and viability be maintained.

Mr. Speaker, In closing, let me once again commend the faculty and staff at the Bermuda College under the leadership of its President, Dr. Duranda Greene, and her executive, for the continued commitment to the vision of Bermuda College, and the provision of sound tertiary education for Bermuda’s students.

Thank You, Mr. Speaker.

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