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TCI Community College Holds 28th Graduation Exercise

Photo of the TCI Community College graduation exercise

The Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC) proudly marked its 28th Annual Graduation Ceremony with an inspiring theme, "From Vision to Achievement: Making Strides Towards Excellence in Education and Training."

The ceremony, held on December 7, 2023, witnessed the graduation of 99 exceptional individuals, including 45 Associate degree recipients, 11 Bachelor's degree recipients, and 43 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Certification recipients.

The event was graced by distinguished guests, including Mr. Edgar Howell, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Social Services, who delivered greetings on behalf of the Minister of Education, Honourable Rachel Marshall Taylor, who was unable to join due to her House of Assembly commitment.

From left to right: Dr. Suzette Creary - Dean of Academic and Student Services; Dr. Candice Williams - President/ CEO; and Mr. Kevin Baxter - Dean of TVET.

 The Minister conveyed heartfelt congratulations to the graduates, emphasising the theme's resonance with the transformative journeys undertaken by each graduate and the profound impact on the community and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Dr. Barbara Ambrister, Chair of the Board of Governors, lauded the graduates and the institution's progress, highlighting the transformative changes underway at TCICC. She emphasised the college's commitment to achieving excellence in education and training.

The ceremony featured a compelling video commencement message from Dr. Candice Williams, President and CEO of TCICC. In her speech, Dr. Williams reflected on the college's vision to become the first choice for education and training in the Turks and Caicos Islands and beyond. She showcased the progress made in various key programme strategies, underscoring TCICC's commitment to academic excellence, partnerships, and international collaborations.

Highlights from Dr. Williams' Speech:

·         Organisational Structure Enhancement: Dr. Williams highlighted the comprehensive Organisational Review of TCICC, led by the Ministry of Education and Dr. Barbara Ambrister, resulting in a strategic placement of key personnel to ensure academic excellence.

· Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET): TCICC achieved notable progress in TVET programmes, securing initial accreditation status from the National Centre for

Construction Education and Research (NCCER). This positions TCICC to offer top-tier technical programmes aligned with industry standards.

· Global Partnerships: TCICC signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with nine international institutions, fostering collaboration and providing students and faculty with valuable opportunities for exchange programmes, research, and credit transfers.

· Capacity Building: TCICC invested in staff capacity building through specialised courses and highlighted achievements, such as faculty members obtaining doctoral degrees and upgrading their qualifications.

· Research and Innovation: The college showcased its commitment to research and innovation, winning the "Blended Challenge Competition" and presenting papers at regional and international conferences.

· Student Success: TCICC celebrated a 29% increase in enrolment, expanded reach through satellite sites, and achieved success in student support services, including the hiring of a Student Support Officer.

· Facility Upgrades: The completion of phase 1 renovations to the Alliance Business Centre, TCICC East, was highlighted, showcasing the commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities.

In conclusion, Dr. Williams expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education, the Board of Governors, external stakeholders, students, and the dedicated faculty and staff who contributed to TCICC's success. She emphasised that the journey from vision to achievement is continuous, requiring ongoing self- assessment and improvement.

During the graduation ceremony, Salutatorian Ms. Kaymia Reid took the stage with grace to introduce our esteemed guest speaker. The event included powerful addresses from Valedictorians, Mrs.Antonique Wright-Todd, and Ms. Donnell Simmons.

Both speakers shared inspiring narratives, recounting the triumphs and challenges faced by themselves and their fellow graduates throughout their academic journeys.

Mrs. Wright-Todd underscored the resilience of the students in the face of the pandemic's challenges, emphasizing that these experiences have uniquely equipped them for any future hurdles. She conveyed that success transcends innate talent or luck, emphasizing the importance of tenacity and the ability to rise after a fall.

Ms. Simmons, in her address, highlighted the transformative power of dedication, passion, and the right opportunities, asserting that anyone can forge their path in any industry. Her words served as a testament to the boundless possibilities that training and skill development can unlock, resonating with the graduates as they embark on their diverse and promising futures.

In a poignant moment, Ms. Kayon Cox, Registrar General in the Ministry of Home Affairs and TCICC Alumnus, delivered a keynote address. Ms. Cox presented a roadmap for success, encouraging graduates to develop a clear vision, harness the strength of passion in their academic pursuits, and allow that passion to fuel their dedication to education and achieving greatness.

The monumental moment of the ceremony was the graduation of inmates and staff from the Department of Correctional Services with certifications in Commercial Food Preparation and Customer Service, marking a historic accomplishment in rehabilitation and capacity building.

As TCICC continues to make strides towards excellence in education and training, the institution remains committed to its vision of becoming the first choice for education and training within the Turks and Caicos Islands and beyond.


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