The H Lavity Stoutt Community College has had its accreditation reaffirmed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Education Minister Honourable Sharie De Castro broke the news recently and later brought the matter to the House of Assembly where she detailed the process behind this achievement.

De Castro attributed the college’s success at achieving reaffirmation to the hard work of the college’s staff.

She said, “Madam Speaker, I am delighted to inform you that the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College has had its accreditation reaffirmed…This achievement was the culmination of much hard work by the administration, staff and faculty.”

De Castro went on to explain that the college, which was first accredited by MSCHE in June 2015 has to seek reaffirmation within a 5-year period.

She said that to this end the college produced a self-study report entitled “We Will Rise”, to represent its plans to recover from the impacts of the 2017 hurricane season, financial challenges and provide evidence of its compliance with the MSCHE’s affiliation requirements and standards of accreditation.

According to the minister, the report covered several areas, including Missions and Goals, Ethics and Integrity, Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience, Support of the Student Experience, Educational Effectiveness Assessments, Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement, Governance, Leadership and Administration.

Although the report was due and submitted in time for Spring 2020, due to the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and the related restrictions, a virtual site visit to the campus was conducted in December of 2020, following which the college received commendations in 6 of the 7 standards.

As a result, the college was required to submit a supplemental Information Report surrounding the final standard, “Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement”.

The minister recalled, “following the submission of that supplemental report in September 2021, another virtual site visit was conducted in April 2022, where the college was found in compliance with Standard VI and reaffirmation was recommended to the Commission… The decision was made by the Middle States Commission on June 23rd 2022 to reaffirm the College’s accreditation until 2028.”

The minister noted that this continued level of accreditation for the college enables students to continue to easily transition into institutions in the United States and elsewhere in the developed world.

The accreditation status also supports the College’s efforts to build partnerships with other institutions and international organisations.