Expanding B-CU Global Online Footprint: Bahamas Initiative Update
Bethune-Cookman University has a history of recruiting and graduating Bahamian students. As the institution seeks to expand its global online footprint throughout the diaspora and beyond, its Bahamas Initiative will serve as a model and pilot. This process provides the template for B-CU to model with other countries.
During June 6 - 9, 2017 a delegation of four B-CU members: Dr. Gale Gayle, Chief Online Learning Officer, Dr. Herbert Thompson, Dean, Computer Science, Engineering and Math; Dr. Arletha McSwain, Dean, Online College and Professional Studies and Ms. Shantell Culmer-Thompson, Assistant Registrar/Enrollment Management, conducted a recruitment fair and site visit to Nassau, Bahamas.
The focus of the visit was to explore partnerships with governmental agencies, secondary and higher education institutions in order to expand Bethune-Cookman University’s presence in the Bahamas and cultivate creative and innovative pathways for learning and exchange; as the Bahamas Initiative seeks to increase the number of Bahamian students who enroll in the Institution’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs as traditional students and via online course options.
A Prior Learning Assessment Initiative also seeks to provide opportunities and offer credit for Bahamian residents who have acquired learning outside the traditional classroom through work/life experience and world skills. The target population for the Prior Learning Assessment Initiative includes law enforcement personnel, military members and staff, clergy, corporate and industry employees who are interested in receiving credits toward a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.
An essential component of the Bahamas Initiative is the establishment of articulation agreements with schools and other agencies that will increase enrollment and visibility, especially in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) areas with a research focus.
During the delegation’s visit, strategic meetings were held with key representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture, and various schools and foundations in order to establish articulation agreements to accomplish the Initiative's objectives.
In furtherance of its goals, Bethune-Cookman University received notification on July 24, 2017, from the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) that it had met the requirements to carry out recruitment and enrollment activities and was in full compliance for offering online courses and online degree programs.
This is a major accomplishment for B-CU in meeting several University Strategic Goals and Key Performance Indicators such as acquisition of a significant accreditation status; broadening the B-CU global footprint; aligning B-CU Mission and Vision statements of developing global leaders committed to service, life-long learning, and our commitment to becoming an international university through forging global partnerships and increasing student enrollment to B-CU.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu