Foundational Years 1992 – 2001 (Stage I)
On February 6, 1993 the Diploma in Primary Education programme was offered to eighteen students, all pre-trained teachers by the new Catholic College of Mandeville. Over the following six years the enrollment grew slowly and the number of courses was gradually increased. The faculty was composed of mainly missionaries and foreign lay volunteers with a few Jamaicans (7%). However, these educators with their excellent qualifications, teaching experience, dedication, together with a commitment to the development of education here in Jamaica, provided a solid foundation on which the College has continued to thrive. January 1999 witnessed the First Graduation; five students received Diplomas. This was followed by submission of the programme to the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) for accreditation, which was received in 2001. These two achievements marked the beginning of a new stage of development for CCM.
Programme Consolidation and Growth 2001 – 2006 (Stage II)
Over the beginning years, the Catholic College of Mandeville operated through evening classes which were held at St. Paul of the Cross High School, Mandeville. In 2001 Bishop Boyle provided the College with a new location which allowed the introduction of day as well as evening classes. Thus the Catholic College of Mandeville entered a phase of rapid growth and development, always in keeping with its mission to provide a quality programme at reasonable rates. The Bachelor of Education (Primary) accredited by UCJ in 2005 and offered both day and evening, is now the fastest growing programme.
The current enrollment for the College is almost 600. Accommodation of this number is made possible by running courses in three segments throughout the day: 8 – 3, 3 – 6, and 5 – 8. The faculty consists of both full and part- time members, who are well qualified, experienced and dedicated to education and Catholic College of Mandeville, as in the early days, but now 98% are Jamaican! Besides the Diploma and Bachelors Degree in Primary Education, Catholic College of Mandeville also offers Guidance & Counselling, Special Education, Library Science and Information Technology.
Ongoing Development 2006 – 2010 (Stage III)
The emphasis on programme development over the years and the resultant success demonstrated by the UCJ accreditation of the B.Ed. in a record span of time, motivated CCM to respond to a strong demand to offer the M.Ed. in Teaching & Learning. Collaboration on this endeavour between Catholic College of Mandeville and St. Mary’s University, Minnesota, has already been in place for at least two years with the hope of launching the programme in the very near future. This calls for expansion of resources, specifically the Library!
Following the completion of a Needs Assessment study in 2005, Catholic College of Mandeville became more aware of the demand for education required to foster industrial development here in Jamaica. This type of education must begin with a solid foundation in the schools, from early childhood through primary and high school. The teaching of Mathematics and Science, even at the primary level, is vital to the curriculum. Teachers need thorough training in content and methodology to provide the requisite foundation. A science lab at CCM would enhance the science courses and produce better trained teachers of science!
The introduction of Special Education by Catholic College of Mandeville is also a direct response to the needs of teachers in today’s classroom where mainstreaming of children with exceptionalities is currently the norm here. The challenges presented by such situations have been eased by these special education courses. Additional classrooms at Catholic College of Mandeville would allow for more persons to access these courses, thus improve their teaching strategies!
The needs are clear and a response, in keeping with our mission, calls for major physical expansion for Catholic College of Mandeville. The limited space and noise from adjacent work places in addition to delivery trucks and containers have created an overall incompatibility of the surroundings with an acceptable educational ambience. Thus Catholic College of Mandeville is seeking another campus for further development. The Diocese of Mandeville has provided land at a location (Williamsfield, near Mandeville) where growth can be achieved in surroundings conducive to quality tertiary education.
Plan of Catholic College of Mandeville New Campus at Williamsfield (Phase I)
As already stated, without compromising the standards required, Catholic College of Mandeville operates daily costs on a strict conservative budget which allows for fees to be maintained at reasonable rates. This is a very necessary part of the Mission of Catholic College of Mandeville in order to meet the needs of the people. The immediate challenge for Catholic College of Mandeville is to raise the capital for construction of the new campus – an estimated US$2 million! Pleeeeeeease Help!
WITH YOUR SUPPORT WE ARE AIMING MUCH HIGHER
Sister Una O’Connor, C.P.