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Education for Advancement (EFA): Start 2011 by pursuing your Career Goals through Higher Education



With the start of every year, many of us come up with numerous New Year resolutions for ourselves. Among all the resolutions, though, one resolution that needs special mention is the pursuit of higher education.{{more}}

We live in a highly competitive job marketplace, both locally and internationally, that requires candidates to possess a solid combination of qualifications and practical experience, in order to become gainfully employed whilst attaining career and professional development goals.

Overcoming the challenges

However, there are two primary challenges for those who desire higher education: the ability to afford a post-secondary education from top quality institutions; and the flexibility to pursue post-secondary education with an ongoing career and/or family obligations.

A great example of an individual who has successfully faced these challenges in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is Mr. Chester Charles, who is pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) through the University of Leicester. Mr. Charles commenced the MBA programme in 2008 and was awarded an entry scholarship at the time of enrolment. He is near completion of the degree programme and summed up his experience by saying: “Although it has been quite challenging and required discipline to pursue the MBA while working full-time, it has been well worth it and I encourage others to do the same through EFA.”

Another student, Miss Antonella Andrews, is enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree programme through Ashworth College and has stated that: “I truly find it convenient to study while being able to work.”

Making it affordable

EFA, through its various distance learning offerings, makes post secondary education affordable, with payment options being as little as $50 per month for some programmes, while offering the flexibility of completing a degree programme in a reasonable time frame, based on personal needs.

Stan DeFreitas, the EFA representative in SVG, adds that EFA not only provides online resources and tools to every student who is enrolled in any of the programmes offered, but EFA also has a genuinely local presence in SVG through its offices in Beachmont. (EFA conducts monthly workshops for existing and prospective students and will, in 2011, be adding other activities at its office facilities to given even greater value to the student experience.)

DeFreitas went on to state that “the response to EFA in SVG since late last year has been encouraging and we look forward to helping persons achieve their career and professional development goals. By pursuing higher education, persons in SVG are building capacity now, and for the future benefit for themselves, their families and the country.”

Additional value

The additional value that EFA brings to the student experience is the credibility of its university partners, namely University of Leicester, Ashworth College and the Interactive Design Institute. These institutions offer certificate and degree programmes in the following areas of study: Business & Management; Accounting & Finance; Criminology; Media & Communication; Human Resources; Marketing; Information Technology (IT); Psychology; Education; Mathematics; Career Qualifications; and Art & Design.

University of Leicester, based in the United Kingdom, is one of the premiere institutions in the world in terms of offering masters, post-graduate and doctorate distance learning degree programmes. Ashworth College is a fully accredited institution in the USA offering certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programmes and has recently been given an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Atlanta, Georgia.

In addition to current offerings, EFA is the process of launching its Law Degree programme by distance learning through Anglia Ruskin University, with the first intake of students to occur in April 2011. There are other announcements to follow in relation to EFA partnering with other universities as it looks to offer additional programmes in an even wider range of study areas.

EFA will strive to service the educational needs of persons in SVG by continuing to be in contact with the community, as well as reaching out to educational institutions, business organizations and governmental ministries and agencies.