Jamaican teachers set to attend Shepherd
Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley and Lawrence Kenney, president of Middlesex International College in May Pen, Jamaica, recently signed an agreement of cooperation between the two schools approving a cohort of 25 Jamaican teachers to enroll in the master of arts in curriculum and instruction program at Shepherd.
Courses will be taught both in person and online with Shepherd professors visiting Middlesex twice a year during summer and winter breaks to teach courses. Jamaican students will finish the last nine credits of the master’s program on Shepherd’s campus during the summer of 2013.
This opportunity will expand Shepherd’s reach internationally and increase the number of students enrolled in the master of arts in curriculum and instruction program.
Kenney said he is hoping this is the first of additional affiliations with Shepherd, which would allow students from Middlesex to participate in other degree programs as well. This is the first master’s program offered through the Middlesex International College, which specializes in nursing as well as hospitality and tourism programs.
Jamaicans are seeking degrees from American institutions as they rethink career goals amidst the economic downturn. Those who are seeking degrees represent two populations: Jamaicans who are entering new career directions and current elementary and secondary school teachers. Additionally, new governmental regulations in Jamaica require all school teachers to either hold a master’s degree or a four-year baccalaureate degree. According to one report, 17,000 teachers in Jamaica hold three-year diplomas and 20 percent of teachers have obtained a master’s degree.
Kenney said that Middlesex was interested in collaborating with Shepherd based on previous experience with Shepherd students and faculty over the past couple years through teaching and nursing practicums.
Virginia Hicks, dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Shepherd, has led several student practicum trips to Jamaica.
She said that the unique experience of providing a master’s of curriculum and instruction in Jamaica will provide both faculty and students an opportunity to broaden their world view.