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Tough year: Fewer students to graduate in 2018

A previous HLSCC graduation ceremony.

Reporting a considerable drop in the number of students who will graduate from H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in 2018, college president Dr Janet Smith said this year’s graduating class will give a clear indication of the impact last year’s hurricanes had on the educational facility.

Up to press time, Dr Janet Smith was not able to provide actual figures on the number of graduates. But, she told BVI News the disasters significantly affected the student population.

According to the college president, many of the students left the territory in the aftermath of the hurricanes while a large amount had to find employment in order to continue school or to survive.

“A lot of students were very stressed and we tried to help them as much as possible but our figures were definitely down.”

“We offered fewer classes for one thing in the fall and we made a special effort to help students that were graduating. But, we started out with a lower enrollment primarily because of everything that people had to do after the hurricanes and their living conditions.”

The HLSCC boss also painted a grim picture of the facility’s condition after hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“We lost a lot of the labs and classrooms and in the main building. We had a lot of damage so we, practically, had no classes in the main building.”

She said a number of classes had to be moved to the Marine Centre, which is located opposite the college’s Paraquita Bay campus and which has fewer available classrooms.

“We also were only teaching from 9am to 4pm and 40 percent of our students come after 4pm. So, that was part of the loss as well. We also had electrical issues, and we still have technological issues … it was just a challenging year”.

Satisfied with performance

Dr Smith said, despite the aforementioned hurdles, she is ‘satisfied’ with the overall performance of the college this year.

HLSCC saw more than 500 persons completing short courses to facilitate the urgent need for construction workers in the territory.

Some 75 students already have been approved to graduate this year and a few others are awaiting their final grades.

The graduation ceremony is slated for 4pm on June 29 at Paraquita Bay and on July 4 on Virgin Gorda at 4:30pm.

Some 200 persons graduated from HLSCC last year.

In the meantime, Dr Smith said the college hopes to repair its main building in time for the 2018/2019 academic year.

Dr Smith further said work on the building is expected to get underway in the next few weeks.

These works, she said, will put the institution in a better position to facilitate more students and offer more courses.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

9 Comments

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  1. All The Best says:

    Sorry to hear of the damages and the impact on this all-important institution of higher learning. The plus to the smaller graduating class is that the commencement exercise should be much shorter this year.
    Thinking about it, it would be a good idea for us to look at culling graduation exercises in future years. People stay quiet on the subject, but many complain about the long hours spent sweating at kindergarten, elementary, secondary and tertiary graduations in our Territory, where speakers use this event as a political platform to go on and on.
    We can think of adopting the process used in the US and the U.K., where so many more students graduate annually, and the ceremonies last no more than an hour. In these days when time equates with money, it would be a great move.
    Hope our beloved and essential HLSCC is up and running very soon, as it has helped countless individuals, and continues to be a shining beacon within our Territory.

    • Not2Sure says:

      +1. Last time I attended an HLSCC graduation I left after 4 hours, and it was still going. Way, way too much time spent on these graduations. Just need to dial it back to something more reasonable. Specially for things like kindergarten. That just makes no sense at all.

  2. BVIYoungman says:

    Of course your numbers are going to be down. Your institution doesn’t offer a very wide range of subject/career interests. Its time to introduce new subject/career teaching into the BVI. Nursing and Medical Work, Law, Agriculture etc. Work on introducing NEW SUBJECT/ CAREER CHOISE!

  3. Rubber Duck says:

    Fewer students.

  4. Curious says:

    Do a Christmas Ceremony, instead of June.

  5. Closet Grammarian says:

    “Fewer students” is how your headline ought to read.
    “Less” is a word reserved for items that cannot be counted… Less milk, less sunshine, less ripe, regardless of our modern days abilities to quantify nearly everything.
    “Fewer” is for items that can be counted. Students can be counted.
    So to can fewer votes, or fewer home runs, be counted.

    • Tricks of the Trade says:

      Correct as you are, Grammarian, there is a certain degree of creative license that one is allowed when writing headlines. With this license, one gets room to deviate (with discretion) from hard and fast rules – especially when one is considering the length of headline, etc. But as a lover of the English language, I appreciated the blog and I suspect BVI News did too. After all, they did approve your comment.

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