Roseau, Dominica – October 23, 2009……. Just seven years since the establishment of the Dominica State College by an Act of Parliament, the institution continues to grow both in terms of student membership and the partnerships it has developed with regional and international institutions.
A total of two-hundred and eighty-three (283) students graduated from the Dominica State College at the Institution’s 7th Graduation ceremony last week. The theme for the ceremony was: “Choice not Chance Determines Destiny”. The activity took place at the Windsor Park Stadium.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Dominica State College, Professor Gerald Grell announced the vision for the College is to move to the stage of a full university. As of the start of this new academic year, which started last month, the Dominica State College is offering for the very first time in Dominica, the Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing.
Professor Grell also said he looked forward to the EC$30 million expansion of the College, which is being funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
In his address at the Graduation ceremony, President of the Dominica State College, Mr. Hubert Charles noted that the institution “is gaining a reputation for a high level of academic achievement”. The President noted that a total of seventeen (17) students across the various faculties attained distinctions. A number of students also excelled at the City and Guilds and there has been a significant increase in the number of students with above average Grade Point Averages (GPA).
Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Sports and Youth Affairs, Senator the Hon. Sonia Williams noted the importance of the partnerships being developed between the Dominica State College and regional and international institutions.
The Dominica State College is currently developing linkages with UWI and UTECH within the Caribbean, Universities in Wales in the United Kingdom and several universities in the United States.
Senator Williams also noted the success of a number of Dominican students and singled out the remarkable success of Roberta Allport who graduated with an Associate’s Degree in History, Chemistry and Biology and secured an award for History. Miss Allport is the 2009 Island Scholar after she obtained 4 distinctions at the University of Cambridge ‘A’ Level Examinations.
A number of other students were also recipients of various awards. Stephie Pascal was the Valedictorian for 2009. Miss Pascal also copped awards for Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics and was student of the year for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The Dominica State College was born in 2002 at the height of the economic stabilization and adjustment programme. Despite criticisms from the Parliamentary Opposition about the timing of its introduction, the Act establishing the Dominica State College was piloted through Parliament by the then Minister for Education, now Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit.
The College is largely a Dominican creation with the early involvement of Dr. Hilroy Thomas, Dr. Donald Peters and Mr. Zechariah Pollock.
The Dominica State College resulted from an amalgamation of the Princess Margaret Hospital School of Nursing, the Clifton Dupigny College (Technical and Academic Division) and the Dominica Teachers’ Training College.
Student numbers at the Dominica State College have soared since its inception. Membership has moved from just over 500 in 2002 to about 2500 in 2009. As a result of the establishment of the College, access to tertiary education in Dominica has moved from 7 percent in 2002 to 15 percent in 2009. The target in the next few years is 30 percent.
With major investments in the facilities at the College in the coming years, coupled with plans for a full university, the Dominica State College is on course to fulfil the vision of its creators- that of playing a leading role in expanding and developing the country’s human resource base – a fundamental prerequisite for sustained national growth and development.