After months of discussions and planning, 21 September 2016, marked the start of a historic partnership between the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) and the St George’s University (SGU). For the first time in its 40–year history, SGU began delivering certificate courses off campus, at GIDC.
This partnership is aligned with one of GIDC’s goals to develop employees’ competence through learning and development opportunities. It is also part of SGU’s mandate to make academic programmes easily accessible to Grenadians.
Dr Theodore Hollis, Dean of SGU’s School of Arts and Sciences fully endorsed the initiative when he and faculty heads met with the GIDC team in January 2016. He said “SGU is pleased to be partnering with GIDC and sees it as the beginning of a long-term symbiotic relationship. Already GIDC has been accommodating our Business interns for several years, giving them valuable real world experience to complete their education programme.”
At the opening of the Certificate programme at GIDC on 21 September 2016, CEO Ché Keens–Douglas said “this is part of our larger vision to improve the competencies of GIDC’s employees which will in turn lead to better service to investors and entrepreneurs, as well as prepare our team members for advancement and new assignments. We are therefore excited at this opportunity to benefit from St George’s University’s wealth of academic resources.” He went on to thank Colin Dowe, SGU’s Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning, for facilitating the discussions, as well as Dr Lucy Eugene, Chair of the Department of Business & Management Studies who is spearheading the delivery of several SGU programmes to address GIDC’s learning needs.
Colin Dowe noted that SGU recognizes its responsibility to not only educate through teaching, but also to expose persons to different disciplines who can then contribute to their respective organisations. “This helps to develop Grenada. A strong Grenada positions SGU to be a strong academic institution,” added the Associate Dean who also said it was important to continue engaging the public in different ways.
Dr Eugene said “today is very special as it has been our dream to reach a wider cross-section of the Grenadian business community and so when GIDC approached us, we immediately put the wheels in motion to make it happen.”
The Certificate in Project Management was the first programme launched at GIDC, in the Seamoon Training Room. It is a 12–credit programme comprising 4 courses, each consisting of 48 hours teaching time. The 20 participants include a mix of GIDC employees, persons from private companies and others who were desirous of gaining skill in this in-demand area.
The lead lecturer and coordinator for the programme is Dr Paul Pounder, who joined SGU this academic year. He previously taught courses for the MSc. in Project Management and Evaluation at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus and began his professional career as a Business Development Officer with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.