San Pedro Junior College commences Bachelor in Tourism Management Program

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Hon. Heredia hands over funds to the San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) to be used towards the Bachelors in Tourism Management (BTOM) Program

On Wednesday, January 18th the Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. handed over the second installment of a $40,000 commitment to the San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) to be used towards the Bachelors in Tourism Management (BTOM) Program.

The Bachelor’s program was an initiative slated to commence in 2010 but due to the lack of finances, it was not realized. The San Pedro Sun spoke with Dean of Admissions at the San Pedro Junior College, Mr. Gustavo Ellis, to find out what is being done differently this time around to guarantee success of the program.

Mr. Ellis stated,

“We tried to start this program in 2010 but it didn’t come through because of the lack of finance. Students were interested in attending but they could not afford the over $11,000 for the entire course that was required by the University of Belize. During that time Mr. Angel Nunez, myself and Mr. Heredia got together and put our heads together to see how we can make this program a reality. Mr. Heredia volunteered to support the program through a commitment of $40,000 and after much work with UB and the professors we have achieved this.”

The original price slated by UB for the seven-semester program was over $190,000. However, after much negotiation between all parties involved, the course was offered at a reduced cost of $108,000. However this leaves the SPJC to foot the bill for professors’ travel, subsistence and accommodations throughout the course.

In his efforts to foster education in his constituency, Mr. Heredia’s assistance comes in the form of sponsorship to seven students, selected internally, that have been accepted into the BTOM Program. The amount is being paid in four $10,000 installments. Mr. Heredia’s sponsorship assures that tuition for the seven selected students will be covered. Honorable Heredia presented the first check of $10,000 in December 2011, and followed with a second check on January 18, 2012.

The program, which includes four courses per semester (two online and two in the classroom) costs a total of $8,000 per student which roughly works out to $1,200.00 per semester. Mr. Ellis explained that there are tuition payment options.

“We have a payment plan – $500 at registration and the remaining $700 will be paid in installments during each semester. We understand the needs of the residents here on the island so we are trying to make it feasible to anyone interested. Anyone in possession of an associate’s degree will qualify to take advantage of the Bachelor Program. There is still chance for anyone who is interested even though the registration is on. They will be treated as transient students to UB – which is basically students that are not at UB but are taking UB courses. In the August intake, those students will be able to register and become UB students.”

An associate’s Degree in any field will qualify an applicant to enter this program. And why is that? Mr. Ellis explained,

“All the pre-requisite courses that you might lack for the course, you can come and take at the junior college from Monday to Thursday and it will be transferred to the Bachelor’s Program, as the SPJC offers an Associate’s Program in BTOM.”

The courses for the BTOM program will take place on Fridays 6PM – 9:20PM and on Saturdays from 9AM – 1PM and scheduled to start on Friday January 27th. The Dean is hoping to get a total of 30 students enrolled in this program this session. Dean of Admissions and Dean’s Office at the San Pedro Junior college may be contacted at telephone numbers 226-4691 / 600-5674. The SPJC takes this opportunity to request further patronage from the San Pedro Business Community, Hotels, Water Taxi and Restaurants that would be interested in becoming a part of this very ambitious undertaking to contact the Junior College to find out how you can help.

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