DC hosting international partners to support the advancement of leadership in higher education

As part of its commitment to supporting international education and training, Durham College (DC) has embarked on its most recent global partnership in collaboration with the Government of Barbados Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (METI), and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).  

The agreement is being facilitated through the Government of Barbados Skills for the Future Program – an initiative that aims to enhance the delivery of educational leadership and management under the umbrella of competency-based education and training (CBET). The program is comprised of four components including: support for an employer-driven training system; improving the quality and relevance of secondary and post-secondary education; institutional strengthening; and a communication campaign.  Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, its objective is to support the government’s human resource development strategy with an emphasis on improving the quality and relevance of secondary education and the effectiveness of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

In November 2015, DC was chosen by METI and CICan to focus on the component of institutional strengthening. Through customized training, mentoring and coaching, the goal is to enhance leadership skills of TVET managers and support Barbadian leaders from METI; the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resources Development; Barbados Vocational Training Board; Barbados Community College; Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic; and 12 secondary schools in understanding the value of leadership models that are focused on current best practices.

As such, the college is currently hosting 25 management professionals, faculty, and representatives from METI, the Barbados Vocational Training Board and TVET at its Oshawa campus from March 7 to 19, and sharing learning strategies related to:

  • Strengthening the leadership skills needed to guide a transformational process of TVET institutions.
  • Building leadership skills to drive competency-based education.
  • Enhancing collaboration skills for developing dynamic relationships with industry partners.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to support higher learning on an international level,” said Mark Herringer, executive director, international education. “We look forward to supporting our Barbadian partners in creating business plans that will guide the transformation and modernization of trainings offered by their institutions and ensuring those offerings align with industry demands.”

The on-site training agenda was developed by DC’s International office and supported by an interdisciplinary team from across the college including faculty, employees from student service areas, Corporate Training Services, the Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment (CAFE), the School-College Work Initiative and the Durham District School Board.

In addition to the in-person training, ongoing mentorship and coaching will also be provided by Pam Stoneham, associate dean, School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology throughout the year via an online portal. Several onsite visits in Barbados are also scheduled to support, monitor and evaluate progress and ensure the change management projects are well positioned for successful implementation.

“It is an honour that DC was chosen as the lead Canadian college to support this exciting project,” said Stoneham. “It is exciting to share the insight and expertise the college has developed in the areas of leadership and competency-based, student-centered teaching and learning while supporting the effort of Barbados to transition to a more effective education model.”

CICan is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly-funded colleges and institutes, with 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities. For more information about the college’s commitment to international partnerships and engagement, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/international