SCORES of Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution students flocked to the recent college fair to gain information on further education and scholarship opportunities.
Fanshawe College and Holland College, the Canadian institutions, and Bethune-Cookman University, of Daytona Beach, Florida, were present as were the Ministry of Education Scholarship and Educational Loans division, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Lyford Cay Foundation.
“It was a one-stop shop where students learned what schools offer, but also what funding is available,” said BTVI’s Student Affairs Co-ordinator, Racquel Bethel. “These institutions weren’t randomly picked; they are a few of the colleges we are affiliated with through articulation agreements or Memorandums of Understanding. We want our students to also make a connection that BTVI’s credits are accepted at Canadian and US colleges.”
In the spring, three BTVI students spent a semester at Holland College – Elkeno Jones studied Electrical Engineering and Ketley Brown focused on Information Technology, while Valentino Burrows was enrolled in the Energy Systems Engineering programme. Rashad Morley also spent the semester studying Electrical Engineering at Vancouver Island University while Gerrard Russell was at Fanshawe College studying Information Technology and Security for two semesters.
Bethune-Cookman’s Associate Director of the Office of Admissions, Junell McCall, said being present was a step in the right direction as her university does its part in higher education.
“We recognise how important it is to educate people of colour and we want to expand our reach,” she said. “We already have a healthy population of Bahamian students and we want to continue to offer our services to those who live abroad. We want to add to the Wildcats’ family.”
Office Administration major Aeisha Baker, 27, was excited by the abundant opportunities. “The fair literally sparked a passion in me to expand my horizons,” she said. “I see possibilities. BTVI is equipping us for globalisation and mobilisation.”
Electrical Installation student Miguel Mackey said attending the college fair had made him aware of some of the scholarships and grants offered by the government. “I learned about the technical scholarships available, which would lessen the burden on me,” said the 21-year-old who wants to study Biomechatronics. “I don’t feel hopeless. I have a chance now to pursue my purpose.”
Kyle Ferguson, who is also studying Electrical Installation, described the fair as “refreshing,” adding that although he always achieves over a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) each semester, he has to work harder if he is to avail himself of the scholarship opportunities.