Saint Lucia Educators Benefit From U.S. Community College Exchange

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Press Release:– Florida State University (FSU) and Santa Fe College welcomed 20 leaders in
vocational and technical education from Saint Lucia, Grenada, and Suriname to the
United States to participate in the Community College Administrator Program
(CCAP).

The exchange, funded by the U.S. Government, began October 18 with a one-week Executive Dialogue in Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee. For 15 seminar participants, the program continues until mid-November with visits and conversations with community college administrators throughout the State of Florida.

The Saint Lucia delegation was led by Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Michelle
Charles and included six professionals from the Ministry of Education and the Sir
Arthur Lewis Community College.

“Vocational education and workforce development are topics that feature prominently
in bilateral and regional discussions because investing in skills training and education is an investment in our individual and collective futures,” said Anthony Koliha, Director of Global Educational Programs at the U.S. Department of State.

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The CCAP improves vocational and technical education at the post-secondary level
by bringing college administrators and officials with higher education planning
responsibilities to the United States to examine U.S. community college
administration. Participants experience first-hand cutting-edge programs at U.S. community colleges that address local workforce development needs.

Permanent Secretary Michelle Charles, who returned from the Executive Dialogue
earlier this week, described how visits to Gulf Coast State College and Tallahassee
Community College prompted her to think of new possibilities for Saint Lucia’s
technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

She explained, “Given the priority for the transformation of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College to a University College and our current focus on TVET, this exchange was timely. It
provided us with the opportunity to structure our TVET offerings using a 21st century outlook and better align our programmes and courses with local and global market
needs.”

The CCAP professional development seminar focuses on leadership, governance,
finance, student affairs and services, diversity and inclusion, program assessment,
workforce development, private sector partnerships, community engagement,
technology, virtual learning, as well as health, safety and emergency preparedness
and response. CCAP participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by
bringing diverse, global perspectives to U.S. community college campuses and
classrooms.

Since 2008, 335 participants from 10 countries have learned about the U.S. community college model and how these institutions partner with business and industry to promote workforce development in their local communities.

FSU program director Jeff Milligan explained how exciting it was to engage Caribbean partners with shared education priorities.

“The Community College Administrators Program both reflects and spotlights the growing recognition internationally of the importance of equipping our citizens with the job skills that support economic development in the 21st century.”

Photo caption: Program Director Jeff Milligan welcomes education leaders from Saint
Lucia, Grenada, and Suriname to the campus of Florida State University.

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