Posted on

I would recommend Associate Degrees at SVGCC – Dr Ferdinand

I would recommend Associate Degrees at SVGCC – Dr Ferdinand


The New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for West St George says that he would recommend the Associate Degree programmes at the SVG Community College (SVGCC) to young people.

Dr Jules Ferdinand made this admission last week Monday, while making a guest appearance on the OMG Morning Show on Boom FM radio {{more}}station.

“A lot depends on what other options they have,” insisted Ferdinand.

The West St George candidate explained that when the issue of accreditation was first highlighted by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace in 2014, many persons questioned him on why he had not weighed in on the matter – given that he represents the Vice-Chancellor on the board of the Council of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

“When this issue came up and the matter was raised, I was actually in Trinidad. When I came back, I [knew] that there was going to be a press meeting… the next day,” he recounted.

“It was quite obvious to me that based on the information that Arnhim Eustace had received from students at UWI, who were being challenged by having to do additional courses because of the lack of accreditation, that he was passionate about the situation…”

Ferdinand also revealed that he had had “no discussions” with Eustace about the matter prior to the issue being raised by the NDP president, and that he had seen no need to get involved in the discussion, because he “cannot speak on behalf of the Council.”

“Nicole Bonadie-Baker had mentioned that she also sits on the Council, but even though she is PS in the Ministry of Education, is not authorized to speak on behalf of the Council… Professor Cobley eventually did that.”

Last year year Pro Vice-Chancellor (for undergraduate studies at UWI) Alan Cobley assured Vincentians that despite the SVGCC not being accredited, UWI recognizes its associate degree programmes for matriculation and, in some instances, advanced standing.

During last week’s radio programme, the show’s host ‘Bing’ Joseph asked Ferdinand if he thinks the Opposition Leader should have consulted him on the matter, given his position on the Council (UWI).

“That ball is in his court; you need to ask him that question, not me,” replied Ferdinand.

“He [Eustace] made it quite clear that his utterances were related to the fact that these students contacted him with this particular problem. He is in his right to bat for them!”

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace made a call last week, while speaking on the New Times radio programme, for officials at the SVGCC to apologize to the nation for what he believes were lies about the accreditation status of the associate degree programmes that the institution offers.

He made his call after Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel, answering a question in Parliament last Monday, said that none of the 22 associate degrees offered by the SVGCC are accredited.

Officials of the SVGCC had publicly stated in 2010 and 2014 that none of the home-grown associate degrees at the college are accredited, but that they could be used to gain entry to the UWI and in some cases, get advanced placement.(JSV)