UCCI accreditation won’t cover degrees

| 25/03/2015 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

University college of the Cayman Islands (UCCI)

(CNS): As the local university goes through the process of attempting to gain accreditation for the institution, a spokesperson for the college has said that the approval from the UK’s accrediting body, Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges & Universities (ASIC), will only cover the UCCI as an institution but not the qualifications it awards.

Accreditation, for the programmes offered, can be a long and costly process and so far the University College of the Cayman Islands has secured accreditation for its nursing degree only. It is seeking accreditation for other courses and J.D. Mosley-Matchett, who is the dean of graduate studies and professional development, has been working on that and said the college is also working towards approval for its business course next.

However, the college hopes it will receive accreditation for the institution very soon.

“We’ve been working on this ASIC accreditation application for quite a while,” Mosley-Matchett said. “ASIC strictly does institution accreditation. Although they do an extensive examination of our documentation, faculty, students, management team and facilities, as well as the content and delivery of our courses, they are strictly certifying that the required standards are being met as an institution. They don’t certify individual degree programmes.”

With institutional accreditation comes credibility and although it has no impact on the qualifications, the institutional approval is said to give an indication to students that the teaching is of an international standard. But to ensure the courses students undertake and the qualifications they receive when they complete the programmes, the college will need to ensure that they are accredited by the relevant bodies for its graduate and post-graduate courses.

Specialized accrediting bodies, such as the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), which the college is seeking for all the business curricula, will be required to approve the degrees and other courses. Matchett said the IACBE did their initial site visit in November 2014 and the UCCI is hoping to be considered a candidate but it will be two more years before that course is accredited.

“Just this month we submitted our revised application based on recommendation from that site visit. We expect to be considered a candidate for business education accreditation in April 2015. Then we have a self-study year for collecting data and another site visit by a team of examiners. Finally, we expect to achieve that accreditation in April 2017,” she explained.

Each accreditation organization takes varying lengths of time and charges varying fees for that approval.

With the UCCI facing the need to cut some half million dollars from its annual operating costs, plus the departure of both the board chair and deputy, the college is going through challenging times. While accreditation of the institution is a first step, the UCCI still faces a long road in order for the courses it offers to be internationally approved.

However while accreditation for the all the degrees programmes make take time and money, the approval adds value and will allow UCCI to recruit more students from overseas as well as home.

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes, its very important that you go to the right school, and have the old school tie on when going to your interview.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Online school or UCCI is not the same to me an employer when discussed among my peers.
    To get the full credit one must actually go and live thru 4+ years of the whole experience not sit in some community college and go home to momma every night or sit at your leisure and take classes on line. Its worth something but not the same to those of us whom did the whole experience.
    More than one of your leaders has an online degree and it makes me chuckle that they think its real.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am one of those “who” did the whole experience, but unlike some people, even before leaving John Gray High School I was versed in the proper usage of who vs whom. That probably helped me to complete my 4-year degree in 3.5 years, but I have to admit that 1.5 years of the total time was probably dedicated to drinking beer and chasing girls.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There is a simpler solution. Just become an ‘extension’ of a real university. As the Law School has been set up. And since there is already a UWI distance learning facility on the UCCI campus UWI would be the obvious choice. Run the courses so its a UWI degree at the end of the day – which means runing it to UWI standards and testing to UWI standards -and then there’s no problems. The students come out with an accredited degree.

    Bonus: By ‘outsourcing’ the degree programmes the College can focus on the Community College, i.e., vocational and practical job training, and ‘personal betterment’ courses that Cayman badly needs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    UCCI should go back to being a Community College that teaches short courses that can help people to advance their careers. Giving employees a better understanding of accounting, finance, banking, and a whole range of topics geared to the most in-demand jobs in Cayman is a service that employers will appreciate.

    Awarding someone a degree in Computer Science when that person did not take “O” Level math in high school, or even an introduction to Calculus course during the four years that they worked to “earn” their bachelor of science is disservice to the person as well as the employer who has to tell them that their education is not on par with what is expected.

    • Anonymous says:

      UCCI as an institution of tertiary education fills an important need and by and large does a good job.

      It is true that, as a developing university, it is a work in progress. For example, I would like to see some tightening up of the admission standards.

      But I just can’t wrap my mind around this new accreditation jag — if you are going for accreditation, do it properly so it can add some value for students. Has anyone at UCCI made contact with the UCJ (Universiy Council Jamaica) that I understands accredits UWI. Start there and see if you can secure accreditation for some programmes and work from there towards proper institutional accreditation down the road. Can’t that be done? It will require some resources, yes, but at least you will know you are working towards a quality stamp of approval.

      Why go with this rinky dink, fly by night ASIC that really does not seem to have a recognized and appropriate authority to back it up (I have checked). Does UCCI think that because ASIC is a UK organisation that it will pull the wool over people’s eyes?

      I don’t think it is going to work to anyone’s, let alone students’, advantage.

      Align yourself with an accrediting body that has a reputation and the backing of an educational body authorized to approve this function.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “…will only cover the UCCI as an institution but not the qualifications it awards.”

    So as a student the non-accredited qualification we receive is basically worthless then. Potential employees must have a good laugh when they see UCCI graduates resumes for job applications.

    Bloody useless!

    Can we just fire everybody that is involved with UCCI.

    How much is the useless non-accredited degree programs costing the Caymanian people and worse, the UCCI graduates?

    UCCI needs fresh, non political-crony, young Caymanian “accredited-degree” holders (as there is enough of them coming back from UK and US Universities this year), to man the helm of the UCCI flagship and get UCCI “unstuck from the reef” as it were. Since the current UCCI leaders and administration have essentially run this ship aground.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Institutional” accreditation by UCCI is a misnomer. “Institutional” accreditation in the widely accepted sense in the academic world signals that the institution is externally certified to the point that it can add programmes without first having to seek permission from its accrediting body. UWI has that type of accreditation.

    Obviously, from what this article and prior ones indicate, UCCI will have to continue what it does currently — operate without proper accreditation for most courses or do what it does for the nursing programme, as this article says.

    If UCCI will still continue to have to have individual programmes accreditated by external (and thus qualified bodies, unlike ASIC), what use is this “accreditation”?

    Could the university explain the difference this will make to the acceptance of its resumes around the glove, compared to what happens now? Or is this just a gimmick for UCCI and a money-making business opportunity for ASIC?

    And could UCCI explain what UK body authorizes ASIC to undertake this role? Which UK educational body stands behind ASIC?

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Cayman News Service