USM Celebrates Newly Developed Courses

June 16, 2022

The University of St Martin (USM) celebrates the completion of the first cohort of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the History and Cultural of St. Martin courses, with the distribution of certificates of completion for students participating in the Continuing Education Program.
Following collaborative efforts between local experts, civil servants and USM faculty, and rigorous review by the university’s Academic Committee, the new study options were introduced into USM curriculum by USM Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Rolinda Carter in January 2022. The courses were offered for the first time by the Division of General Liberal Arts, which is headed by Mrs. Juliana Shipley-Hodge.

GIS Officer at VROMI and USM Instructor Johann Sidial expressed his pride in the accomplishments of his students, most of whom currently work with the Fire Department, the Police or other national safety agencies. “GIS is now used throughout the private and public sector, as well as in many other areas worldwide. This was a great opportunity for country Sint Maarten and I was happy with the collaboration between the agencies and the university,” Sidial stated.

The History and Cultural Heritage of St. Martin (HIS 190) is another innovative course that was introduced in the Spring semester and was taught by UNESCO Secretary General for Sint Maarten Ms. Marcelia Henry. At the course completion celebration, the long-standing faculty member stressed the importance of enriching the curriculum at the university.

“Because our island’s economy is largely based on tourism, knowing the history and culture is extremely beneficial for our people. This course is a prerequisite requirement for the Bachelor of Elementary program and the Associate of Arts in hospitality and tourism management program. However, it is also open to the public,” said Ms. Henry.

As part of the ceremony, Dr. Carter, Mrs. Juliana Hodge Shipley and USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Baez addressed the Continuing Education Program (CEP) graduates. Several of the students were happy to share their experiences of returning to the classroom after so long and being inspired to take other courses. Upon receiving a certificate of completion, one adult student expressed how much she missed studying. She is encouraged by her experience to continue taking other courses at USM in order to further develop her skills and knowledge in relevant areas.

The two newly established courses provide a wonderful chance for businesses and enterprises to invest in their employees. Head of Marketing and Admission, Ms. Mitsha Shobhan Giterson urges business leaders to use USM as a springboard to advance their companies and services. We have a team of dedicated faculty members who are experts in their professions. "To contribute to the island's socio-economic development and sustainable living in the Caribbean, is one of our missions. Now is the time, especially considering the socio and economic development on the island”, said Giterson.

Both courses will be offered in the 2022-2023 academic year, and together with Mr. Sidial, USM is currently developing a next level course for GIS.


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