c/o The University of the West Indies
St. Augustine Campus
Trinidad & Tobago W.I.

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1 (868) 645 0397
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1 (868) 663-9684


Fifth Annual Conference & Annual General Meeting of ACHEA

Innovation & Action for Success in Higher Education
Hilton Tobago July 6th - 9th

Success in Caribbean Higher Education – are we there yet and how will we know?

Abstracts for Concurrent Sessions - printer friendly version


Name: Mrs. Dianne Thurab-Nkhosi, Editor, Distance Education Centre, U.W.I., St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago

Title: Moving From Face-to-Face to E-Tutoring: Setting the Stage for Success in Blended Learning.
Presentation time: Jul. 7th,1:45 p.m.

In 1992, the University of the West Indies (UWI) took a decision to widen access to UWI programmes and courses by incorporating distance education as an integral part of its operations. Based on this decision, the UWI was transformed from a single-mode to a dual-mode institution, with the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) being created in 1996 to facilitate distance delivery. The UWIDEC, like many other distance education institutions has recognized the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance distance education course delivery. To this end the UWIDEC has been incorporating the use of ICTs in the delivery of its programmes and courses, taking a blended approach. In this scenario, tutors play a key role in the successful delivery of courses by facilitating the much-needed interaction and collaboration in the teaching and learning process. This paper explores the challenges involved in moving tutors from operating in a face-to-face, to operating in an online environment. In this regard, the paper will describe the process being adopted by the UWIDEC to prepare tutors who have been involved in traditional face-to-face delivery for successful “ e-tutoring”, the challenges experienced by the tutors and the institution and suggestions for the way forward to ensure successful tutorial support for distance education students.

Key words: e-tutoring distance education, blended learning, e-learning,

Name: Prof. Stephan Gift, Deputy Dean & Mr. Raymond Ward, Assistant Manager, Systems Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, UWI, St.
Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago.

Title: E-Learning in a Wireless Classroom.
Presentation time: Jul. 8th, 10:20 a.m.

Information Technology (IT) is an important aspect of modern society and competence in IT at some level is critical for the world of work. Also, IT has had and continues to have a significant impact on education and its delivery. In this paper, we outline an e-learming Information Technology programme based on CISCO technology and a wireless classroom concept offered by the Cisco Regional Academy of the Faculty of Engineering through its Engineering Institute. We also indicate how this technology can enhance the entire curriculum.
The IT courses offered by the Cisco Regional Academy are of the highest quality. They provide students with the Internet technology skills that are essential in a global economy. The Networking Academy programme delivers Web-based content, online assessment, student performance tracking, hands-on-labs, instructor training and support and preparation for industry-standard certification. The material is the latest in IT and is created by CISCO one of the leading IT companies in the world. The courses are modular and comprehensive and provide considerable opportunity for hands-on-experience. There are two main courses being offered: Information Technology Essentials and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). In order to properly deliver these courses, suitable equipment is required.
Wireless Classroom
The IT Essentials course utilizes a wireless classroom for access to the internet. It is a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) in which a user can connect to a Local Area Network (LAN) through a wireless connection. It comprises personal computers that communicate via wireless signals with a central router, with high-speed Internet access via a digital subscriber line (DSL). Each personal computer (PC) employs a wireless card that provides it with the wireless connection. A Wireless LAN such as that described has many advantages:

  • Connectivity no longer implies wired attachment.
  • There are no cables to be run or hidden behind walls.
  • Wireless technology provides LAN access in buildings that are difficult to wire or re-wire because of budget limitations and structural problems
  • Overall, installation and maintenance costs are significantly lower.
  • Wireless technology allows users to achieve total PC portability and freedom of location such that computer resources can be placed where they are needed.
  • Wireless bridges deliver LAN connectivity to remote sites and users. A wireless point-to-point or point-to-multi-point bridge can connect remote schools and libraries to provide distinct wide information and learning networks.

Cisco Laboratory
The CCNA course requires the acquisition of a CISCO laboratory. This is a modern facility that contains all the equipment required for effective hands-on training in networking technology.
Enhancing the Curriculum
Apart from the Cisco courses, the paper will discuss methods of enhancing the entire curriculum using information technology and will present a number of interesting examples.

Name: Ms. Souzanne Fanovich, Distance Education Officer; Mr. Ruel Ellis, Lecturer, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; Mr. Tommy Chen, Telecommunications Manager, UWIDEC, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago

Title: The Challenges of Student Administration in a Virtual Environment: A Distance Education Perspective
Presentation time: Jul. 8th, 1:45 p.m.

The UWI has adopted the dual mode approach to the delivery of its tertiary level programmes.
This paper will attempt to outline some of the challenges facing administrators of distance programmes. It will look at theories applied to delivery by distance and also at management theories applicable to the management processes of delivery by distance and would seek to suggest how these could be implemented in the University’s distance programmes.

The dynamic nature of On-line delivery requires quick transfer of information from one point to another from one user to another. This paper will show the vital part played by ICT in the communication process of a Distance Education Programme by using examples of real situations.

The paper will also identify which best practices in the field are applicable to and on line delivery method in the UWI.

It will show the need for regular and reliable and early communication of information to all stakeholders particularly as it applies to policy and procedure formulation.

Name: Ms. Betty Thorpe, Assistant Registrar (Examinations), UWI., Cave Hill Campus, Barbados& Mrs. Brigitte Collins, Senior Project Officer, UWI., Mona Campus, Jamaica

Title: Tapping Technology to Integrate Administrative Systems and Enhance the Campus Experience.
Presentation time: Jul. 8th, 3:30 p.m.

Presenting a unified image across multiple campuses and enhancing online services for constituents is an ongoing challenge for higher education institutions in the Caribbean. The University of the West Indies (UWI) is currently implementing an enterprise administrative system to create a unified digital campus to streamline administrative processes, enhance communication and improve the campus experience.

This session will offer best practice guidelines and strategies for planning a successful unified digital campus implementation that can extend technology investments, improve time and cost efficiencies, and enhance the overall campus experience. UWI's Cave Hill campus in Barbados is currently live with the SCT Banner administrative system, its Mona, Jamaica campus and St. Augustine campus in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago to follow soon. Learn from its experience what worked, what didn't and recommendations for successfully planning and implementing an administrative system integration initiative.

In addition to a discussion of the technical challenges that need to be addressed during an integration initiative, the discussion will highlight the non-technical side associated with rolling out a unified digital campus including:

  • Fostering agreement and procedural change with varying campus cultures;
  • Encouraging adoption--some users will embrace technology…others may resist the change; and
  • Effectively communicating new service enhancements.

Name: Mr. Adam Lenhart, SunGard SCT, U.S.A.

Title: Solutions For Exceeding Service Expectations and Improving the Campus Experience in Caribbean Higher Education
Presentation time: Jul. 9th, 9:30 a.m.

Providing self-service environments, preserving technology investments and enhancing the campus experience are top issues for institutions. Most institutions are facing the challenge of providing more and better access and are seeking technology solutions to help achieve these goals.

Attendees at this session will be introduced to the SCT PowerCAMPUS administration system and learn how it can help Caribbean colleges and universities:

  • Unify and provide secure, role-specific administrative information to constituents making access to up-to-date campus information easier and task completion more streamlined and convenient; and
  • Keep pace with the business challenges of today and the future, positioning institutions to more successfully compete.

SCT PowerCAMPUS is specifically designed and priced for small institutions, SCT PowerCAMPUS provides a robust system that unifies the administrative and academic functions of campus-wide departments and provides students, faculty, and other campus constituents with secure, online access to administrative and academic information. The solution's self-service features also help reduce staffing requirements and foster constituent relationships in a manner that can help improve the overall campus experience.

An interactive discussion and case study examples will showcase best practices and offer techniques that can be replicated in any campus environment.

Name: Mr. Raymond Eytle, Senior Assistant Registrar, U.W.I., Cave Hill Campus, Barbados & Mrs Brigitte Collins, Senior Project Officer, UWI, Mona Campus, Jamaica

Title: Getting Value from your Enterprise Information Systems – Understanding and Managing the Reporting Process for Strategic Decision Making.
Presentation time: Jul. 9th, 9:30 a.m.

Understanding and managing the reporting requirements for decision making is critical in transforming an enterprise. Reporting elements need to be properly defined and the reporting process must be managed to ensure that accurate and consistent information is presented for decision making. The session seeks to address the following issues:

  • Implementing in a limited resource environment with no standardized reporting culture
  • Using the approach of acceptance and culture change
  • Ensuring that Process owners drive the implementation with assistance from the Information Technology department.
  • Producing integrated reports in an environment of disparate enterprise information systems

Name: Mrs. Marijade Maryam-Ali, Senior Manager, Quality & Employee Development School of Business and Computer Science, Limited (SBCS), Trinidad and Tobago.

Title: The Higher Education Agenda: Developing a Quality Institution
Presentation time: Jul. 7th, 1:45 p.m.

Higher Education is defined as learning beyond the secondary level, and includes both the teaching and research activities of universities and colleges. It differs from other forms of post-secondary education; however, most professional education is included within higher education.
In most developed countries, over 50% of the population now enters higher education at some time in their lives. As the catalyst for bringing programs and people together, professionals and practitioners in higher education must make every effort to assure both quality and progress.

Developing a quality institution requires strong focus on areas such as, Institutional Purpose, Institutional Effectiveness, Educational Programs, Educational Support Services, and Administrative Processes. Competent planning, conducting and managing education, training, and other human resource development (HRD) activities are all part and parcel of this process.

The major steps in implementing these human resource development strategies in higher education are to assess every aspect of the institution; involve personnel from all segments of the institution, including lecturers, staff, students, and administration; and, provide a comprehensive documented analysis of the institution, identifying strengths and weaknesses.

In an attempt to help the institution achieve overall effectiveness and to ensure the quality of all educational programs, the HRD practitioner is responsible for developing a Strategic Plan that will address issues identified in the analysis. In addition, a functioning planning and evaluation process that identifies and integrates projected educational, physical, and financial development, and incorporates procedures for program review and institutional advancement should be developed and implemented.

Name: Mrs. Mrs Nicole Crooks, Senior Manager Human Resource & Communications, Central Bank, Trinidad and Tobago

Title: Innovation + Action = Success (Innovation in HRD + Deliberate Action = Personal and Professional Success)
Presentation time: Jul. 8th, 10:20 a.m.

Innovation and action orientation are two of the competencies included in any modern Management and Leadership Competency Model. Both competencies are usually found in the context of leading change. Innovation refers to the ability to develop new insights and apply creative solutions to make improvements. Action orientation refers to the ability to proactively do things rather than just think about them. When innovation and action are combined along with other key competencies, an individual or organisation usually achieves success.

Innovation and action are well placed in the context of Human Resource Development and Change. Human Resource Development is a planned and structured process interwoven with an organisation’s business strategy. It is inextricably linked to Change as organisations require a flexible workforce to meet the challenges of a dynamic external environment, new technologies and increasing customer demands. Individuals are therefore challenged to develop flexibility if they are to remain employable.

You will find that successful individuals have invested in their personal and professional development with or without the support of their organisations. In other words, they have managed their careers through deliberate actions. On the other hand, high performing organisations have recognised that innovation and risk are essential elements in a culture that is effective in managing the pace and type of change inherent in today’s external environment. Their experiences have taught them that for innovation and risk-taking to be nurtured, a learning climate needs to be developed within their organisations. Such progressive employers establish partnerships with their employees in the development of their careers and embrace an open, active, strategic approach to HRD as an investment in human resource capital rather than perceiving it as expenditure.

Reg Ryans popularised the concept that for an organisation to survive, its rate of learning must be equal to or greater than the rate of change in the external environment. If we accept this principle then there are implications for us as individuals. Words like “learning”, “development”, “change”, “innovation” and “action” become the common language of individuals in their roles as employees and of organisations as employers.

The presentation will address the following key issues:-

  • What is meant by Human Resource Development (HRD)?
  • Who is responsible for HRD?
  • Key HRD Models
  • Career Management
  • Key competencies for managing change

The presentation will highlight best practices so that the participants can take away some practical tips for action.

Name: Dr. Donald Peters, President, COSTAATT, Trinidad and Tobago

Title: Higher Education Administration: The Caribbean Challenge.
Presentation time: Jul. 8th, 1:45 p.m.

Intentionally, the administration of higher education institutions over the past two years has shifted from a conservative, traditional approach to a more dynamic, innovative form of management. While the traditional governance structure has remained relatively intact, the demands on the administrator have changed markedly and the responsibilities associated with those changes have created a hybrid administrator who, it appears, is expected to be part financial broker, part intellectual genius and part politician.

In the Caribbean, the task of managing a higher education institution is even more challenging, when factors such as culture, values, resources, customs and idiosyncrasies of the region are added to the mix.

This presentation will seek to generate discussion on how to best manage institutions within this dynamic Caribbean environment, the challenges and the successes. Participants will discuss the governance structures, the impact of stake-holders on decision-making, admission standards, absence of resources and student outcomes, within the context of nation-building.

Name: Mr. Francis O. Severin, Office of Administration and Special Initiatives, U.W.I., Mona Campus, Jamaica

Title: A Role for ‘Teachers-Only’ at The University of the West Indies.
Presentation time: Jul. 8th, 3:30 p.m.

This paper provides a backdrop against which the issue involving the promotion of academic staff (teaching) based on their teaching competence vis-à-vis research output might be discussed. The issue is not a new or even recent one and, aside from its pervasiveness in higher education institutions throughout the world, it has been visited, sometimes formally and at other times, informally, on a few occasions at The University of the West Indies. Here, stakeholders have failed to arrive at a compromise regarding an appropriate weighting of these functions, assuming they might be plausibly discrete responsibilities at a modern university.

The matter is one that assumes ever more significance as higher education institutions seek to become more relevant to the social and economic demands of their clientele – the public and private sectors, government and industry – and in some cases, justify their very existence. Alongside this is a renewed commitment to undergraduate teaching ‘pushed’ by a demand to give students their money’s worth.

It was only in the nineteenth century that a new mission or role – research, both pure, and more recently, applied - was added to the traditional transmission of knowledge, via teaching, by higher education institutions. Notwithstanding this nineteenth century thrust, the author argues that some of the questions that Caribbean higher education institutions in general, and the UWI in particular, will be forced to address are:

(a) What educational outcomes do we hope to achieve with respect to our clientele?
(b) What are or should be our priorities in the context of limited resources, especially given increasing competition from international and national higher education institutions, and the creation of a “single enlarged economic space”?
(c) What do our clientele want?
(d) Do we have the structures in place, in terms of how we define and motivate our academic staff, to deliver on our clients’ wants? The paper offers reflections on these matters, drawing from a broad range of literature from sociology of education, economics and human resource development, in the context of finding a role for academic staff who can fit into the cast of ‘good teachers’.

Name: Mr. Sydney Arthur, Registrar, Barbados Community College, Barbados

Title: The Administrator’s Dilemma: Maintaining Health in Competitive and Demanding Work Environments.
Presentation time: Jul. 9th, 9:30 a.m.

Stress, defined as the subjective feeling of the individual as the body adjusts to the external demands (stressors) placed upon it, is an essential feature of human existence and is necessary for survival. Not all stress is bad. There is distress and eustress. Distress is the negative stress that causes us to worry, often taking a toll on our health and ability to work productively. Eustress is the good type of stress that makes us feel alive.

Job stress, defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), is largely responsible for the feeling among many workers of being ‘over stressed’. Job stress can have its roots in both overload and under load.

The ubiquitous nature of job stress, and the established link between job stress and many of the common ailments and major illnesses that affect us, make it important for workers to have a clear understanding of the stress process, as well as the strategies that can be used to prevent or reverse its harmful effects.

The presentation will address the concept and nature of stress and job stress; explore the harmful effects that stress can have on the body; and identify strategies that can be used to minimize the harmful effects of stress on mind-body functioning.


Name: Mr. Phillip Maharaj, Deputy Campus Bursar, UWI St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago

Title: Are Financial Management, Fundraising and Accountability Issues Relevant to Senior Administrative (Non-Accounting) and Academic Staff.
Presentation time: Jul. 7th 1:45 p.m.

The paper will seek to identify the traditional/perceived role of administrators in an organization and how this has changed over time.

Donor funding (Fundraising) is playing a more integral role in not-for-profit entities as governments cut back, and attached to the funds, are rules that govern the spending and accounting for same. The paper will identify the areas that administrators should pay particular attention to.

Thirdly we shall introduce and highlight some of the aspects of the Sarbanes/Oxley Act that was passed in the U.S. a couple of years ago as a response to major accounting scandals.

At the end of the presentation we shall seek to pull these 3 points/issues together to demonstrate that administrators do play an important role in Financial Management, Fundraising and Accountability issues.

Name: Mr. Kofi Nkrumah-Young, Vice-President, Finance and Business, University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica

Title: A Critical Examination of the Resource Allocation Model used for Higher Education in the Caribbean – A Jamaican Case Study
Presentation time: Jul. 8th 10:20 a.m.

Higher education has undergone considerable changes in its reach and delivery mode since its introduction to the Caribbean in 1948. Notwithstanding the changes in the programme and academic contents the governments of the region have maintained only one model of resource allocation to the Higher Education Institutions. The governments have also implemented several bureaucratic structures to ensure a link between its resource allocation model and the issues of accountability, institutional efficiency and quality. This paper will
1. Explore the various resource allocation methods available and their links to accountability, efficiency and quality.
2. Identify and examine the resource allocation method being used in the Caribbean.
3. Consider the consequences of the method.
4. Raise the issue of change to the existing model.
The paper will use the Jamaican experience to typify the Caribbean and it is hoped that the ensuing discussion will determine the extent to which the consequences of the Jamaican experience with resource allocation to Higher Education has been replicated in other Caribbean Countries.

Name: Mr. Kenneth Fitz-Andrews, Vice President Finance, University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT)

Title: Financial Management, Fundraising and Accountability
Presentation time:
Jul. 8th, 1:45 p.m.

Name: Dr. Alcyone Vasconcelos, Education Manager. & Practitioner, Former State Minister of Education Brazil; Currently Social
Development Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Trinidad & Tobago

Title: Financial Sustainability of Tertiary Level/HE Institutions.
Presentation time:
Jul. 9th, 9:30 a.m.


Name: Ms. Caroll Edwards, Senior Assistant Registrar, Public Relations, U.W.I. Mona Campus, Jamaica.

Title: Building Bridges: Special Events as a Tool for Relationship Building.
Presentation time:
Jul. 7th 1:45 p.m.

Relationships are the key to the success of all institutions. In the case of the university, the relationships which it develops with target publics e.g. staff, students and alumni are critical to its continued success and survival as they play a vital role in creating opinions and forming attitudes about the institution and its value to the wider community. The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus faces significant challenges, mainly due to financial constraints and increasing local and international competition. The Campus can capitalize on a number of strengths including its high academic standards, its research and a strong undergraduate teaching programme. However its position has been weakened by a perception that it is not sufficiently student-centred, contributing to a low level of alumni loyalty. There are also concerns about the relationship that exists among the different categories of staff and the abiding Academic/Administration ‘divide’. Special events can go a far way towards engendering a greater sense of belonging, developing a feeling of camaraderie among staff, students and graduates and garnering positive support for an institution. The paper examines the Commemoration Celebrations at the UWI, Mona Campus and their effectiveness as a marketing, communications and relationship building tool.

Name: Ms. Line Verbik, Senior Research Officer, Observatory on Borderless Education, UK

Title: Global Trends in Transnational Higher Education – Opportunities and Challenges for the Caribbean.
Presentation time:
Jul. 8th 10:20 a.m.

Transnational higher education (education offered by one country in another – excluding provision where solely the student travels abroad) is becoming an increasingly widespread phenomenon with ever more importing and exporting countries. This session will provide an overview of the various forms of transnational higher education, rationales for import and export, the main importers and exporters, regulations, future trends and the impact of transnational education in a capacity building context. The presentation will also examine transnational education in a Caribbean perspective with a focus on the current situation, conditions for transnational delivery and risks and opportunities for the region.

Name: Mr. Eric Sickler, Higher Education Marketing Consultant, U.S.A.

Title: "Brand In A Box".
Presentation time:
Jul. 8th, 1:45 p.m.

Even "veteran" college and university marketing practitioners who understand the fundamental principles of integrated marketing sometimes stumble when faced with the challenge of crafting a marketing plan. In this session, we'll breeze through a review of the peculiar language and basic elements of brand marketing, direct marketing, and constituent relationship management, then demonstrate a sequential planning process (complete with planning documents, templates and timelines) designed to turn your best intentions into a dynamic brand marketing plan.

In recent years, conferences for higher education marketing practitioners have been peppered with a plethora of sessions and workshops to introduce the theoretical underpinnings of integrated marketing, brand marketing, direct marketing, enrollment management, strategic marketing planning, and an assortment of other buzz topics du jour.

During the process of presenting many of these sessions and working with client schools across the nation, we are increasingly called upon to "cut to the chase" by helping directors of recruitment, admission, marketing, public relations, external relations, and others to create and deploy plans that address institutional strategic objectives and maximize the return on their schools' marketing investments. This session will introduce many of the marketing tips, tactics, tools and even presentation templates we've found to be particularly powerful in any marketing planning exercise.

The purpose of this session is to share with participants some of fundamental planning principles and counsel we have found to be most
useful for schools engaged in the process of developing brand marketing plans. Not surprisingly, the same principles can be applied to all kinds of recruitment and marketing planning processes, from whole-scale integrated marketing and enrollment management plans to operational plans for a single campus unit, like an office of college relations.

Is this rocket science? No. Do many college and university marketing practitioners spin in bewildered circles when faced with the challenge of moving a campus from
pondering brand theory to practicing brand marketing? Absolutely.

Name: Mrs. Sandra Gift, Senior Programme Officer, Quality Assurance Unit, UWI., St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago; Prof. Elsa Leo-Rhynie, Pro-Vice Chancellor, and Chair, Board of Undergraduate Studies, UWI

Title: Quality Assurance of Transnational Education in the Anglophone Caribbean.
Presentation time:
Jul. 8th, 3:30 p.m.

The paper discusses the various manifestations of Transnational Education, within the context of globalization, in the Anglophone Caribbean with a focus on the three main campus countries of The University of the West Indies (UWI): Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. National and regional developments relating to quality assurance and accreditation systems are analysed, from the perspective of quality issues relating to Transnational Education. Specific issues addressed include collaboration with local institutions; domestic regulations for setting qualifications; quality standards and licenses for both imported and exported education programmes; provisions for monitoring accreditation of programmes in their country of origin; and compatibility of foreign providers’ programmes with the national/regional development thrust. The paper concludes with suggested guidelines for monitoring the quality of Transnational Education in the Anglophone Caribbean.


Name: Ms. Donna Maynard, Lecturer, Clinical & Counselling Psychology; Ms. Karen Ring, Lecturer, Social Work, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Title: Why should administrators care about how students manage the university student experience?
Presentation time:
Jul. 7th 1:45 p.m.

Why should administrators care about how students manage the university student experience? Because it impacts on institutions’ student retention and attrition rates, how incoming students will approach their student life, and eventually how they might function in the workforce.

In order to understand the university student experience a matrix was developed, based on interviews with students, to assist in assessing student motivation to learning and seeking potential support services. This matrix is presented in relationship to both mature students and younger students.
The study also looks at the nature of Caribbean universities. Most Caribbean tertiary institutions are Commuter Based-Campuses as opposed to the traditional Residential Campus. The question often looming is do commuter students actually utilize on-campus services? The issues and reasons surrounding utilization and under-utilization of services are discussed within the context of student expectations of commuter-based university life.

The findings of this study show that there’s a need for Student Support Services, providing support for students to help them make it through their university life to a career. The findings also provide administrators with an understanding of what support services are needed and puts forth the argument to integrate proactive counselling services into Caribbean tertiary institutions.

Name: Mrs. Sandra Ingrid Gift, Senior Programme Officer, Quality Assurance Unit, UWI., St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago, Office of the Board for Undergraduate Studies; Mrs. Camille Bell- Hutchinson, Programme Officer, Quality Assurance Unit, UWI., Mona Campus, Jamaica, Office of the Board for Undergraduate Studies

Title: The Imperatives for Improved Student Experiences in Higher Education: The Case of The University of The West Indies
Presentation time:
Jul. 8th 10:20 a.m.

This paper discusses the findings of reports of Quality Assurance review teams on the Cave Hill, Mona and St Augustine Campuses over the period 2002-2005, as they relate to issues which impact upon the quality of the student experience. Areas to be explored include: curricular relevance; the quality of teaching and learning; the integration of Information Technology for teaching and learning; assessment of student learning; academic advising; the effectiveness of fora for treating with students’ issues; co- curricular learning, resources, services and facilities, inter alia. The paper examines relevant recommendations of review teams and discusses the action taken to enhance the quality of the student experience at The UWI. The discussion is anchored in some of the current literature on quality in higher education. The paper concludes with recommendations for monitoring quality, with a view to enhancing student learning and the overall management of the student experience at this regional institution of higher education.

Name: Dr. Innette Cambridge, Ms. Maria D. Thomas, Ms. Jacqueline Huggins, UWI, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago

Title: Tertiary Education: Fostering Inclusiveness for Persons with Disabilities.
Presentation time:
Jul. 8th, 1:45 p.m.

The United Nations Standard Rules for the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) states that the education of persons with disabilities should be an integral part of the education system. Inclusive Education is a fundamental human right and has been identified as one of the
goals of the Ministry of Education’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan. Currently, within the education system of Trinidad and Tobago, persons with difficulties ranging from the early elementary level to the secondary level are entering the mainstream. A Student Support Services Division has been established to cater to the special needs of the student. Tertiary educational institutions should be part of the inclusion process.

This paper addresses inclusion at the tertiary level and emphasises three critical aspects of the issue, the first being, making tertiary education more accessible to persons with disabilities. Secondly, the paper examines the experiences of persons with disabilities enrolled at a tertiary level institution and critiques the preparedness of the establishment for receiving students with disabilities, the awareness of the human resource for integrative education and the technical, administrative and physical factors, crucial to the success of the process. Thirdly, the paper addresses the development of Disability Studies within the context of inclusion in the university's curriculum as a means of preparing professionals to assist with the further integration of PWDs into society, as indicated in Human Rights conventions.

Name: Ms. Meagan Sylvester, Director Student Development, COSTTAAT, Trinidad and

Title: Exploring the Relationship Between Service Relationship and Civic Responsibility.
Presentation time:
Jul. 8th, 3:30 p.m.

This paper intends to shed focus on the need for civic responsibility in service learning. Adopting the belief that service learning offers the greatest potential for fostering civic responsibility because it provides opportunities for students to engage directly in their communities and meet community needs, it is being proposed that course work can be enhanced as students are encouraged to engage, understand and embrace the concept of civic responsibility.

Three areas of concentration will be explored on the following themes for growth in developing civic responsibility amongst community college students: firstly, the need for the leadership of higher education institutions to develop a commitment to foster civic life amongst students, and where it has not existed, to re-create a desire for civic renewal within the student body; secondly, introducing the process of measuring the impact and translation of service learning into civic responsibility to the college student; and thirdly, the development of a programme to create vision buy-in by faculty and administrative staff to generate college-wide fervour for civic responsibility via service learning.

The mission of many colleges and universities is to educate students for citizenship. It is therefore in that vein that this paper seeks to fill the lacuna which exists in higher education studies about the positive relationship between service learning and civic responsibility.

Name: Dr. Patricia Spradley, Higher Education (H.E.) Consultant, USA. (H.E. Consultant with COSTAATT)

Title: Transitioning from Teacher Centered to Student Centered Instruction: Strategies for Active Learning
Presentation time:
Jul. 9th, 9:30 a.m.

In today’s diverse and complex society, the process of preparing students for life as critical thinkers, productive citizens, future leaders, and lifelong learners creates both opportunities and challenges for educators and higher education institutions globally. The changing nature of students, the collegiate experience, learning, and teaching all have implications for altering educational practices. Education reform efforts increasingly emphasize expansion of access to higher education both for reasons of equity and as a way of increasing the country’s intellectual capital capacity as it competes in the global economy. This context requires teachers to broaden the range of teaching techniques and strategies they must use in order to increase chances of success for a more diverse student population.

Current research in undergraduate education suggests some movement away from the faculty member’s role as provider of instruction to that of facilitator of student learning. When teaching from a learner centered perspective, students are the center of focus and instructional strategies are chosen because they are most likely to support that kind of learning.

The presentation is designed to give concrete ways for teachers to introduce instructional strategies that engage students in activities that build teamwork and immediately get them thinking about the subject matter.

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