Grenada Educators Benefit From U.S. Community College Exchange 

PR – Florida State University (FSU) and Santa Fe College welcomed 20 leaders in  vocational and technical education from Grenada, Saint Lucia, 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 Grenada delegation was led by Ministry of Education Permanent  Secretary Norman Gilbert and included seven professionals from the Ministry of  Education, T.A. Marryshow Community College, Grenada National Training  Agency, and New Life Organisation. 

“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. 

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 Norman Gilbert, who returned from the Executive  Dialogue earlier this week, explained his enthusiasm for the focus on technical  and vocational education and training (TVET). He said, “We learned quite a lot,  and while the resources we have are different, the lessons from this program can  support how we organize and invest in Grenada’s education and skills training.  There were many best practices that can be replicated and adjusted to serve  persons in the education sector, especially those interested in TVET education.” 

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.”