Dr. Duranda Greene On College Initiatives

November 20, 2018

Bermuda College President Dr. Duranda Greene spoke to Hamilton Rotarians today about initiatives taking place at the College.

Dr. Greene said, “This year, 2018, marked the conclusion of a 10-year Strategic Plan period that counted among its highlights; institutional accreditation till 2025; the establishment of additional academic partnerships to provide baccalaureate and graduate degree programmes in business and education; articulated agreements with institutions in the United Kingdom; the establishment of the associate degree in nursing and the Certificate in Applied Science Technology; expansion of the dual enrolment programme to include the Certificate for Nursing Assistants; and an upgrade to our technology and facilities.

“As the College stands on the threshold of the next five years, it is manifestly evident that global changes in technology, emergent industries and careers, increased access to varied learning options, and even new student groups, require that we continue to evolve and transition as an institution, and in quick order [I might add], to the new landscape of industry re-invention and innovation. It is a world characterised by risk and uncertainty, but also by significant opportunity, and it is imperative that Bermuda College identify the skills and training required to continue to equip its students to compete competently and confidently at the local and international level.

“Preparation for a new five-year Strategic Plan, “Vision 2023: Delivering Success” began in earnest last October, and was approved by the Board in September. The six strategic lens through which the College views its ongoing relevance to our community and in particular to our students, is the result of extensive and comprehensive consultation with industry partners; the Bermuda College Board of Governors; the Bermuda Public Services Union; academic partners; faculty; support staff; and students. Invaluable input was gleaned from these stakeholders and constituents.

“The six strategies that will continue to guide us as we deliver ongoing success to Bermuda’s students are: Student Success; Campus Culture; Human Capital; Diversification of Revenue & Partnerships; Infrastructure; and Branding & Marketing. We believe that the goals in the five year strategic plan will lay the foundation for Bermuda College’s success for its next 50 years.

“Some of the highlights in the plan include:

  • Ensuring our programmes/courses meet the changing need of the community. To this end BC is currently involved in conversations regarding training in compliance, fintech and gaming.
  • Ensuring we have the optimal human resources to enact our goals through 2023 and beyond, this includes succession planning and seeking qualified individuals to replace the more than 20% of our employees who will be eligible to retire over the next 5 years.
  • Establishing the College as a resource and hub for intellectual activity and development for our community.
  • Establishing Bermuda College as an eco-friendly campus.
  • • Rebranding Bermuda College which will include a review of our logo, tagline, colours and may even see the introduction of a BC mascot.

“The strategic plan will be available on our website next week.

“Bermuda College is grateful for the support it continues to receive from the Government and its scholarship and award donors. It is our belief and that of our board that no student should be denied access because of a lack of financial resources.

“The Government Grant of $300,000 provided in 2017 was a game-changer for many students to either begin or continue pursuit of higher education. One hundred and eighty-nine 189 students were assisted in the Fall 2017 semester and 124 in Spring 2018. This year, we were pleased to receive the Grant of $300,000 once again with one hundred and thirty-two 132 students benefitting this Fall.

“The good news gets even better…

“You may have heard in the recent Throne Speech and in yesterday’s news that the grant will be increased to $500,000 and that a College Promise programme will be introduced in Fall 2019. Why are these two initiatives significant not only for Bermuda College, but also to our country?

“Based on the recent census, 51% of our population who are 16 years and older has some sort of post-secondary education; but there is a significant gap between the number of Bermudians and non-Bermudians in this category with only 46% of Bermudians holding a post-secondary qualification compared to 70% of non-Bermudians.

“Recent studies indicate that by 2020, with new technology and emergent industries, at least 65% of all jobs will require some level of post-secondary education. Hence, it is imperative, and, we believe, our mandate as a community college, to continue to prepare and equip our citizens to take advantage of these job opportunities.

“The additional funds provided through the financial aid grant will increase college access and attainment for Bermudians who cannot afford to attend Bermuda College who have a GPA of at least 2.00. Special consideration will be given to students whose parents are currently receiving financial assistance from the Government, foster care students, ex-foster care students, and those who have recently been in the judicial system.

“The College Promise programme will reward students from the public education system who have a GPA of at least 3.0, with full tuition to attend Bermuda College.

“These two initiatives are win-win incentives as they will:

  • Increase college access and attainment for Bermudians, thus closing the gap between Bermudians and non-Bermudians who hold a post-secondary qualification.
  • Foster a college-going culture in the K – 12 school system.
  • Assist in breaking generational cycles of families being on financial assistance and instead promote college attainment to those who may not otherwise consider furthering their education.
  • Help families understand that College is attainable, and affordable because tuition will not have to be paid from constrained family finances, and with the right preparation and determination, their children can afford to go to college.
  • Encourage local economic development and opportunities with more educated citizens.

“Student success underscores all pedagogical strategies and initiatives at the College. It underpins the future success of our island economy and our future. The last time I was here I was pleased to announce the successful launch of our Associate Degree in Nursing programme.

“Today I am pleased to provide an update. Of the 16 graduates who have taken the NCLEX examination 14 were successful on their first attempt hence an 88% pass rate. We also have 6 graduates who have been approved to write the examination by the New York State Board. These students have 90 days to write the examination.

“There are also another 11 students who are going through the registration process with either the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools or the New York State Board. We also have two nursing graduates who have successfully passed the NCLEX and are continuing their undergraduate studies towards a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Northampton in the UK. Both are on full scholarships from the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

“Here are a few more of our student success stories over this past year…

“Culinary arts students were featured on the popular BBC world News Travel Show; our applied technology students hosted a series of “Walk-in Wednesday” public presentations to showcase their projects that ranged from network security to creating apps for public transportation. Our Environmental Science students participated in a Greenrock project, earning one student, top prize and a trip to Portugal to attend a UNESCO conference on sustainable education.

“Students in the Literary Analysis class participated in a remarkable writing project with the Westgate Correctional Facility; and fourteen students were sponsored to attend the Insurance Linked Securities Convergence conference. Such is the calibre of experiential learning and instruction at Bermuda College which continues to make it a distinctly relevant institution for Bermuda’s students and the community.

“In response to the high demand for healthcare professionals globally and here in Bermuda, this Fall the College established a new Division of Nursing and Allied Health. The first new associate degree programme in this division will be the Associate in Science [Pre-Health] which is expected to be available for the start of the Fall 2019 academic year. Other programmes under consideration by the Allied Health Advisory Board include: Diagnostic Imaging, public health, radiation therapy, nutrition & dietetics, and exercise science & wellness.

“As a community college, transfer agreements such as the one with Northampton University mentioned earlier are very important to us to ensure that our graduates earn credit for the courses that they have completed at Bermuda College.

“Exactly one week from today, Bermuda College will play host to more than 20 overseas academic partners from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as part of our first Transfer Pathways Fair. These institutions are part of the more than 30 institutions who have signed agreements with Bermuda College whereby our graduates will have a seamless transfer of academic credits into the third year of a 4-year degree programme; and into the second year of a 3-year degree in the UK.

“These institutions include: Acadia University, Bethune-Cookman University, Caribbean Maritime University, Dalhousie University, Framingham State University, Georgia State University, Johnson & Wales, Mount Saint Vincent, Newbury College, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, St. John’s University, St. Mary’s University, Savannah College of Art & Design, Temple University, the University of Buckingham, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and the University of West Indies.

“Let we pause here to acknowledge the work of the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, Dr. Phyllis Curtis-Tweed along with Dr. Constance Smith who over the course of this past year, have worked diligently to expand the list of our transfer partners, and to give our students greater access and opportunities to complete their baccalaureate degree.

“Although enrolment has been on the decline over the past several years at the College for various reasons, this year we are pleased to report a 9% increase in enrolment to 712 students. This does not include the 200+ students that are enrolled in workforce development courses offered through our Professional and Career Education Centre.

“For the first time in more than 10 years our male enrolment is more than 40% of our student population. This can be attributed to the presence of dual-enrolled students from the public high schools enrolled in the Certificate in Applied Science programme at the Technical Education Centre. During our Commencement in May, we graduated the first 16 dual enrolled high school students from this programme dispelling the myth that high school students are not engaged in technical education. We also graduated the first dual enrolment student from the Culinary Arts programme in May.

“Another project that is dear to me and has been a long time in the making is the Bermuda College Foundation. I am pleased to report that the Bermuda College Foundation was recently incorporated, as a company limited by guarantee. In addition, a Chair and Deputy Chair have been secured and the College is expecting an official launch of the Foundation early next year. So look out for more information on how you can contribute to the continued success of Bermuda College and its students.

“During its 44 year history, Bermuda College has produced some outstanding alumni. As mentioned earlier we will be celebrating our 45th anniversary next year and our focus will be reconnecting with our alumni. To this end, we will be hosting a series of events for our alumni.

“This Friday, November 23 we will be hosting a games night at the College Centre for our alumni from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. We are encouraging all alumni to come out, reconnect, reminisce and have some fun. We are also encouraging all alumni to visit our website at www.college.bm and complete the alumni information sheet. So that everyone is clear, an alumnus of Bermuda College also includes students who attended one of our antecedent institutions i.e. the Bermuda Technical Institute, the Six Form Centre or the Hotel and Catering School.

“Bermuda College continues to restore, refresh and renew itself and I consider it a privilege to serve as President of this wonderful institution that was an integral part of my own personal success story. I have every confidence in, and am grateful for the dedicated and committed employees we have at Bermuda College; and of the support of the College Board of Governors. Magna mirabilia portendi. Great and wonderful things are indeed foretold for Bermuda College. There has never been a time in the College’s history that this motto has ever rung more true.”

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