Home Commentary Open forum RESIDENCY PROGRAM AT UVI COULD HELP TOURISM

RESIDENCY PROGRAM AT UVI COULD HELP TOURISM

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Open letter to President Orville Kean
Dear Sir,
I think that the University of the Virgin Islands and the community in general would benefit from the addition of short residency degree programs to UVI’s offerings.
In the United States many accredited universities offer older working students the option of taking their degree program with only a short period on campus while the majority of the work is taken long distance. The typical period spent on campus is two
weeks at the beginning or end of the program. This permits them to get their academic
education and professional advancement without an interruption to their careers or a
period of reduced income.
Professions with many existing continuing education and short residency degree programs in the U.S. include those of nursing and teaching, which also happen to be in short supply in the islands. The demographics of the country indicate a rising need for nurses as a larger percent of the population ages. There are other possible specialties but health and education have always been
among the major departments of UVI. By collaborating with private institutions with CEU programs in symbiosis, it is possible to get immediate recruitment and scale.
Graduation, like marriage, is one of those pivotal times in life and has traditionally been a time when a person’s family and friends travel to join in the
celebration. St. Croix now needs more tourism. If people come here to participate in graduation and enjoy the experience it is likely they will return. Education opens the door
to visitors who might not otherwise have come here.
St Croix’s hotels and restaurants benefit as a result, first hosting parents and friends then alumni on return. Some students may also decide to do a tour of duty here.
The University of the Virgin Islands has an investment in plant that could be leveraged by collaborating with private, non-degree granting institutions to offer a degree at the end of their existing professional CEU programs. I have been told that the
dormitory of the St Croix campus is under capacity. As the examinations are the same, a
thesis presentation judged by UVI faculty could be mandated it does not infer putting
UVI’s imprimatur on substandard education.
Thank You
Richard Bond

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