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QuiTE Excellent Teaching at USC
2016-11-10 – Andrea S. Cato
USC was awarded first place for "Excellence in Teaching and Learning" by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad & Tobago (ACTT), at the recent Quality in Tertiary Education (QuiTE) Awards Ceremony held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain.
USC, which was “the first private institution to receive recognition and approval from ACTT,” according to Dr. Wanda Chesney; Vice President for Academic Administration, also copped the 2015 second prize for teaching and learning; first prize for quality assurance, and first prize for student support. Previously, 2014 yielded first prizes for teaching and learning, and student support and development.
“It helps to reassure the students that what they are getting is a quality education”
QuiTE awards are earned in competition with notable institutions such as Hugh Wooding Law School and Arthur Lok Jak Graduate School of Business. Dr. Chesney added that “It has tremendous implications for us, because it says to the other countries in the Caribbean, that this is a university that competes with the other universities in the country, and still does outstandingly well.”
In relation to the quality of education offered at USC, amidst the current economic climate and consequent challenges, “The award has a tremendous impact, in terms of the...quality of our cadre of professionals who teach in our classrooms every day,” highlights Dr. Chesney. she also notes that lecturers at USC carry as many as thirty credit hours, in addition to maintaining office hours. Yet, they are “still able to give their best” while integrating faith and learning. Some of the students who were interviewed commented that this integration has a calming effect and brings meaning through the kinds of examples used, assisting them in making links between theory and practice.
Students are consulted using Vox Populi, in which random individuals are surveyed “on the spot,” as part of the QuiTE Award application.
Teaching and learning was the only area in which USC submitted an application for the QuiTE Awards this year.