For some of us, we’ll be the first in our families to go on to pursuing higher education; others may be continuing the family tradition. Whether you may be seeking to upgrade yourself with certification in a specified area or pursuing a degree course, enrolling at any post-secondary institution (Teachers’ Colleges, Universities, Community Colleges etc.) is a smart way to improve your marketability and employability. No matter your background, selecting a suitable institution to embark on your tertiary voyage can be both exciting and challenging.
Before making your choice, here are a few things you should consider:
Are you knowledgeable of all the information pertinent to your enrollment?
Once you have applied, it is important to follow up to ensure that the application has been received and is being processed. Identifying a course of study is just one aspect; students need to pay keen attention to other key areas such as:
Payment of fees – This aspect speaks to tuition, boarding/lodgment or any miscellaneous fees that may relate to insurance, books, transportation etc.
Deadlines – Students need to be mindful of the deadlines in relation to registration and fee payment.
“Keeping abreast of these aspects can make for an easy transition.”
Is the institution reputable and is your selected course of study recognized or accredited?
Tertiary education is a major investment, both academically and monetarily. You need to ensure that the institutions to which you are applying are both reputable and have courses of study that are recognized locally and internationally. Your future award of a certificate or degree must be portable, i.e., it must be accepted by other institutions and employers.
Does the institution possess the necessary resources and facilities to offer a quality assured programme?
Due diligence must be done when selecting an institution. This process goes far beyond viewing attractive adverts and relying on an institution’s “perceived” reputation. Facilities (such as adequate libraries, computers labs, multi-media lecture rooms) and resources (such as e-learning media, programme specific tools and equipment) are key areas of consideration. Students must engage the institution via campus tours, as well as seek out recent graduates of the institution to gain their feedback on selected programmes.
It is the role of the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC) to ensure that all institutions at the tertiary level offer programmes that are quality assured, and by extension deliver programmes that sufficiently prepare students to meet matriculation and employment standards, both locally and internationally. JTEC is being established to enhance quality assurance through the Registration, Regulation and Development of institutions in the tertiary sector. Students are being encouraged to proactively plan their education path, ensuring that any questions of their qualifications are irrefutable.