Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn announced that former Chief Minister, Hon. H. Lavity Stoutt would have been pleased that the college (HLSCC) has been accredited.
During his remarks at the memorial service for Hon. Stoutt on 7 March, Hon. Walwyn said that he believes the late BVI Leader would have been proud of the College’s achievement: “I quietly asked myself if he would have been proud of our achievements to date. How would he look on us; and I have concluded that he would have been proud that the H. Lavity Stoutt, for instance, that he envisioned has been accredited. And will provide even more opportunities for our people to gain knowledge and access to universities and opportunities around the world,” Hon. Walwyn said.
Last July, following a nine-year accreditation process, it was announced that the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College had been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Dr. Janet Smith, HLSCC Accreditation Consultant, who played a big role in the accreditation process also spoke at Hon. Stoutt’s Memorial Service. She told the gathering that she hopes the College will continue to be a place that represents Hon. Stoutt’s vision and dream for the growth and the development of the Territory.
“One of the things that he would always say was that he wanted a college for his people and once he was gone he wanted to see everyone, regardless of what community they were from. He wanted to see this country continue to develop and he knew that it was the young people for who he was providing the structure and the mechanism for education, because he knew that it was going to be the basis for the growth and continued leadership of the Territory,” Dr. Smith said.
The accreditation by the MSCHE provides opportunities for students seeking to transfer to other institutions after completion of studies at HLSCC.
The College was deemed to meet accreditation eligibility requirements in 2007, after a 2006 submission. This was followed by a period of seeking candidacy, which resulted in two visits by accreditation teams to the college, the second resulting in the awarding of candidacy status in 2012. The college then embarked on a required three-year period of self-study followed by an accreditation assessment team visit in 2015 that led to the Commission’s recent decision affirming the College’s compliance with all fourteen of its standards for accreditation.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is one of seven such regional bodies and accredits colleges and universities in the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. HLSCC and Bermuda College are the only two non-US higher education institutions in the region to receive U.S. regional accreditation.