SANDALS Corporate University (SCU) has partnered with Pearson Education Limited and a number of foreign universities to ensure the delivery of quality service to its students.
Its tertiary education partners include Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management, Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism, and the University of the West Indies' (UWI's) Cave Hill campus.
"Through its partnership with Pearson, SCU students will have access to its Edexcel programmes, highly respected British qualifications with a core emphasis on practical, work-focused skills," said a release from SCU. "The SCU also hopes to boost programme-delivery by increasing access to customised textbooks and online learning resources. The partnership will also build on the SCU's capacity to provide world-class educational programmes."
Pearson is also to assist SCU in further developing its Division of Excellence programmes and will support the it in the hosting of events such as conferences, seminars and forums.
Edexcel's regional director, Mark Andrews, said Pearson was impressed by Sandals' commitment to providing its employee base with the skills and knowledge to advance their careers and contribute to the long-term viability of the Caribbean tourism industry.
"Partnering with SCU was an easy decision for Pearson, given [that] both our organisations share the same goal of creating long-term benefits for the Caribbean region through quality education," he said in the release.
According to Andrews, the partnership will expose SCU students to "a remarkable breadth of educational products and services [as] Pearson has a unique offering of educational solutions, including traditional and digital textbook publishing, training, curriculum materials, multimedia learning tools, and assessment programmes".
Undergraduate and postgraduate hospitality management students at UWI, Cave Hill will now have the opportunity to compete for prized internships at Sandals/Beaches Resorts across the region.
"Through the agreement between the university and the SCU, Sandals Resorts will each year select six students — five undergrads and one postgrad — to receive three-month placements at the company's luxury-included resorts," the release noted.
Ryerson University in Canada and Florida International University in the United States have also partnered with the SCU to offer higher degrees, such as MBAs and other postgraduate programmes. Through the partnership with Ryerson, the SCU will benefit from corporate research support, competitive and well-sought-after internship programmes as well as ongoing content and delivery support for training and development managers.
In addition to providing access to postgraduate and higher-degree programmes, Florida International University will also collaborate with the Sandals Group to carry out its environmental and sustainability programmes. The SCU also hopes to benefit from exchange programmes for trainers and team members as well as scholarship opportunities for students.
Sandals management trainee Sean Pierre Webster could hardly contain his excitement at the thought of being able to undertake further studies through one of these prestigious universities.
"When, where and how soon can I sign up?" he asked. "I believe the magnitude of this prospect cannot be understated. To have the opportunity to be affiliated not just with Sandals Resorts but [also] with Florida International University and Ryerson... the ripple effects extend not just regionally, but [also] into the wider workforce," he said.
SCU was launched in March 2012 to provide team members across the region with an opportunity to pursue further studies ranging from high school equivalency programmes to hospitality certification and higher degrees.