Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, co-signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Provost of Coppin State University, Ronnie Collins (seated at right). Looking on is Director of the Higher Education Development Unit, Dr. Patrick Rowe. (W. Alleyne)??

Coppin State University in Maryland is satisfied with the collaborative efforts it has realised with tertiary level institutions here on the island and wants the relationship to continue.

Provost of that overseas campus, Ronnie Collins, confirmed this on behalf of its President Dr. Reginald S. Avery at the opening of the 3rd International Conference on Higher Education, last evening at Hilton Barbados.

While stating that collaboration had "advanced with clarity of purpose and with mutual respect", he assured those gathered that his university would continue to "offer [its] full support as we together identify creative ways to advance our mutual interests in higher education".

Praising the work of Director of the Higher Education Development Unit (HEDU), Dr. Patrick Rowe and Dr. Errol Bolden of Coppin State University, prior to and following the signing of the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding, he outlined the achievements since then and expectations going forward.

It was noted that in 2007, a team of Coppin award-winning IT staff?? held consultations on technology with representatives of the Ministry of Education and provided professional development workshops through video conferencing modalities to technical staff at the Barbados Community College (BCC), Erdiston Teachers’ Training College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.

During that year, further collaboration between the social work faculties at the BCC and Coppin State led to the development of a course titled "International Issues in Social Work", a class that has been adopted by the Coppin Department of Social Work as a special topics course. Mr. Collins added that this was "recently cited favourably by a Council on Social Work Education reaccreditation site visit".??

Acknowledging that each year, students and/or guest lecturers from Barbados shared classroom experiences in social work education through video-conferencing technology, he noted that as a result, collaboration had been extended to an additional historically black institution in North Carolina, Winston Salem State University. "We are pleased that this special collaboration led to a 2008 peer-reviewed article published in the Caribbean Journal of Social Work," he said.

The Provost added that later this week Coppin’s College of Health Professions, led by its distinguished dean, Dr. Marcella Copes, was slated to sign an agreement with the BCC.?? He said: "I am told that students enrolled in a section of NURS 321: Nursing Care for Children will complete part of their clinical experience in Barbados during spring 2013, [with] perhaps between five to 10 students participating.?? This delegation will be led by Coppin Professor Lucille Belgrave, another Barbadian."

Several Coppin undergraduate nursing students, he noted, would also be travelling to Barbados.

Disclosing that this Friday, October 26, social work students from Barbados [and at the conference] would be joining Dr. Bolden as he interacts with his class at Coppin State, Mr. Collins said students from Barbados and Coppin would interact with students and faculty from Winston Salem State University.

"Indeed, over time, the Coppin-Barbados collaboration has truly developed in significant ways. Our collective futures are filled with possibilities, as the bases for more extensive engagements continue to unfold.

"That being said, Coppin State University will continue to direct appropriate levels of resources to efforts that ensure that our mutual bonds are strengthened in this global marketplace. Together, we are committed to graduating global citizens whose educations will be second to none …" Mr. Collins concluded.


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