Thursday, April 21, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The College of The Bahamas’ (COB) fifth president, Dr Betsy Vogel Boze has pledged to make the tertiary institution “a fully accredited, residential, multi-campus university providing access and academic success for all Bahamians.”
“Each generation and age group has less tertiary education than its predecessor,”?she said at her COB Investiture Service held at the school’s Performing Arts Centre earlier this month. “As the nation’s tertiary institution, we must partner with public and private secondary schools to ensure that all Bahamians are prepared both for the workforce and for university level work.”
Unquestionably, a better educated population is “essential” to economic development and prosperity, noted the college president.
Speaking to the challenges and opportunities ahead for the tertiary institution, the college president outlined her plan for COB’s transition to university status. Higher education, she said, is both a personal accomplishment and a public good.
To maintain and enhance “intellectual vibrancy” and to educate tomorrow’s leaders, Vogel-Boze laid out five commitments essential to COB’s success: academic excellence, access and student success, improving the student experience, transparency and sustainability.
“We will critically evaluate our curriculum to ensure that it is vibrant, creative and technologically adapted to the 21st century. We will be thoughtful about this. We will not develop new programmes just because we want to teach them,” said the new president. “We will be purposeful in our selection and ensure that the programmes are of the highest quality and anticipate the evolving needs of The Bahamas.”
Vogel-Boze pledged to identify and eliminate bottlenecks to obtaining degrees. Courses, she said, must be scheduled for the benefit of students “and not because we have always done it this way.”
This summer, COB will complete its first Strategic Enrollment Management Plan to help the college distill these and other issues. The plan is expected to focus the school on where it wants to be and what it wants to look like, in addition to helping officials understand the factors that contribute to student success.
“We will be vigilant to both large changes as well as the more subtle ones,” vowed Vogel-Boze. “We will track and respond to variations in demographics, retention, and enrollment, to students’ changing learning styles, to national, international as well as regional trends, to progress in technology.”
COB intends to identify peer and aspirant institutions to benchmark its operations and expectations against.
“We are in the business of transforming lives, and we do it well,” said Vogel-Boze. “We need to ensure that our degrees and courses are universally accepted by the finest universities and to make the ‘University of The Bahamas’ a destination location for students from the region and beyond.”