TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE A SHORT HISTORY
The establishment of a Community College in the Turks and Caicos Islands has been visualized and vocalized as far back as 1689. The rational was based on the desire to advance education in general and tertiary education in particular where the establishment of a local College would ensure that more persons had access to tertiary education.
On September 2nd 1994 the Ordinance establishing the Community College as a Statutory Body came into effect and on the 18th September 1994 the College was open in Grand Turk using temporary facilities at the H. J. Robinson High School with a Branch in Providenciales using facilities at the Clement Howell High School.
In 1992 the Chief Minister Hon Charles Washington Misick in the PNP Administration publicly stated his government’s intention to develop a Community College. Subsequently, the Minister of Education, the Hon Arabella Smith set up a task Force to conceptualize the idea of a Community College. Discussions were organized with the general public to obtain feedback on the establishment of a College. In early 1993 Mr. Kurt Johansen thee Regional Education Adviser to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States were contracted to do a study on the feasibility of establishing a College and the possible location for such an institution. In late1993 Dr Bynoe did a study which outlined further steps which need to be taken for the establishment of a College. In early 1994 the Government sought assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank to fund a study for the development of the Community College in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Dr Alfred Sangster who at the time was the President on the University of Technology on Jamaica did an in-depth study on the establishment of the College and the basis of his analysis concluded that there was an urgent need for a Tertiary Institution (Community College) in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He further recommended that the administrative center of the Community College should be located in Grand Turk with the secondary Campus in Providenciales and that the College in Grand Turk should be started in rented premises to be followed by relocation to a permanent sight to be constructed at the Education Department site.
A Board of Governors was established and held its inaugural meeting on 21ST October with Mr. Carlos Simons Attorney at Law as the first Chairman of the Board. The Board members were, Mr. Sterlin Garland as Deputy Chairman, Mr. Glennevans Clarke, Ms Marjorie Simms, Dr. Rosita Butterfield, Mr. Hartley Coalbrooke the Financial Secretary, Mrs. Julia Williams the Permanent Secretary of Education and Dr. Jacob Bynoe the Principal. In attendance was also the Hon Arabella Smith the Minister of Education. The College’s Office was staffed by Dr. Jacob Bynoe, a Guyanese national as the first Principal and Ms Deborah Dickenson an indigenous person as the Secretary/Administrative Officer and Secretary of the Board.
There was a change in Government in January 1995 and the Hon Clarence Selver the newly appointed Minister of Education in the PDM administration, preceded with the development of the TCICC. An official opening was held on March 4th 1995 at which time the College was housed in rented premises at Harbour in Grand Turk. A year later the College moved into rented facilitated at Butterfield Square in Providenciales.
In 1995 the College held its first institutional development workshop with Mrs. Norma Holder Principal of the Barbados Community College, Dr. Keva Bethel Principal of the College of the Bahamas, Dr. Leyton Thomas of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Dr. Kevin Lillis of the British development Division and Dr. Alfred Sangster of College of Arts Science and Technology (now University of Technology) as advisors for the development of the College.
It was recommended that the Campus in Providenciales should be turned into a Hospitality Training School with some Technical/Vocational programmes being done and the other programmes should be done at the Grand Turk Campus.
In late 1995 and on into 1996 Hon Clarence Selver led consultations and discussions regarding a suitable location for the College, as it was evident that the space which was allocated at the Department of Education Compound was very inadequate and serious attention was drawn to the use of the former-naval facility in Grand Turk to be refurbished into a College.
In June 1996, Mrs. Julia Williams the then Permanent Secretary for Education was second from the Government service as Principal Designate and appointed as the first indigenous Principal in February 1997.
In September 1997 Mr. Carlton Mills was appointed as the first Deputy Principal resident in Grand Turk. In October 1997 the Further Education Development Project was launched with the objective of strengthening and expanding the capability of the TCICC to provide improved and increased opportunities for post secondary adult and continuing education through the modification, rehabilitation and upgrading of the former naval base in Grand Turk to include equipment, furniture and instructional materials as well as technical assistance for institutional strengthening and project management. The project was financed by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and implemented with APEC Consultants of Jamaica as the Consultants and Kee Chanona of Trinidad as the contractors.
The first phase of a Master Plan which provided a rational physical plan for the timely and orderly development of the facilities at Lighthouse Road, North Point in Grand Turk to accord with the aims, objectives, academic vision and future plans of the College was completed on June 12th 2001. With its formal dedication on May 31st 2002, the College moved into a spacious Campus in Grand Turk.
In September 2001 Mr. Carlton Mills, the Deputy Principal was transferred to Providenciales to coordinate the Branch in Providenciales while Mrs. Claudia Smith was appointed as the first Dean of Academic Studies resident in Grand Turk.
In 2003 the Providenciales Campus moved into more spacious rented accommodation as the numbers increased. There are plans to construct a purpose built college in Providenciales by September 2007 with facilities for Hospitality, Technical and Vocational Training. Mr. Samuel Forbes has been appointed as Dean of Technical Studies at the Campus in Providenciales.
Originally the College was on the quarter system. However in August 2004 the College transferred to the semester system, which brought it in line with regional and international institutions of higher education.
The College continues to exhibit steady growth. It has linkages with several North American institutions and credits are transferred to international institutions. New programmes continue to come on stream, consonant with the College’s mission and development.