From left: Division Head Jan van Beek, Assistant Division Head Karen Hana, BTEC external examiner Steve Ingle, BTEC Administrative Coordinator Lorraine Jansen, USM Dean Dr. Rolinda Carter and USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez.
POND ISLAND–University of St. Martin (USM) received a positive evaluation of its accredited Hospitality programme last Friday when external examiner Steve Ingle made his annual visit to the country.
Regular positive reviews are necessary for the British Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) programmes at USM to maintain their accreditation. Evaluation of USM’s academic operations includes interviews with students, faculty and administration, the sampling of exams and institutional documentation.
“For Hospitality we, of course, look at the practical as well as theoretical learning. We want to maintain a certain level that will allow students to further pursue their studies if they so wish,” said Ingle.
USM’s Business and Hospitality Division has gone through serious structural and academic renewal since 2017, when it was decided that USM would begin offering internationally recognised and accredited degrees under BTEC. Since then, Division Head Jan van Beek and Assistant Division Head Karen Hana have been training instructors, upgrading the curriculum and making sure that students receive all the support they can get, to achieve.
Run first by local hotels and later by Johnson and Wales university in the USA, Hospitality was USM’s first programme of study when the college was established 30 years ago.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Van Beek in reference to academic achievement in the areas of Business and Hospitality at the undergraduate level. “By improving the standard at USM, we are raising the bar for all of St. Maarten and preparing our students for better employment opportunities. Studying at USM does not only prepare you for the workforce, it also gives you more freedom to decide where you want to work or if you want to continue studying at a higher level.”
Also working for the Business and Hospitality Division is Lorraine Jansen, who was assisting the Division as BTEC Administrative Coordinator. “We worked very hard for this positive feedback from Mr. Ingle. Fortunately, hard work pays off.”
Jansen served as an assessor at USM for the Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National in the Hospitality Management programme. She taught courses in Contemporary Hospitality Industry and Managing Food and Beverage Operations. “It was educational and challenging for myself as well, especially because at the same time I also taught Hospitality at a VSBO school in St. Maarten.”
Jansen will be leaving St. Maarten this August to obtain her Master’s degree in the Netherlands.
USM Dean of Academics Dr. Rolinda Carter expressed satisfaction with the positive evaluation. “We look forward to securing accreditation and constantly improving our curriculum at USM. This is the second positive evaluation we received this year,” she said.
The USM Business programme was granted a positive semester review last February.
“Maintaining accreditation is an arduous job. We can be very proud of our students, faculty and staff,” Carter said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/88613-university-gets-positive-evaluation-in-hospitality