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Members of the CIFEC Dual-entry Programme during a recent meeting with Education Ministry Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues, UCCI President Roy Bodden and other UCCI staff members.

Published 13th September 2011, 6:2pm

For the second year running, Year 12 government school students from the Cayman Islands Centre for Further Education (CIFEC) have been given the opportunity to make an early start in their tertiary education studies. This year, some 49 students have qualified to take up this option. For this second group of students, the UCCI programme has been enhanced, and now contains many exciting new college readiness elements. "Last year many of our Year 12 students proved that they had been well prepared for college success, which is just one of our CIFEC options. As a result, we now have students who have earned college credits at sixteen and seventeen years old," stated Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin. "Our challenge this year was to build on this achievement, to give all students who select this option the best possible chance of success. The Ministry, Department of Education Services and UCCI have partnered to provide additional elements to the programme, which I think will support our students and be welcomed by parents," he said. The CIFEC students will have a homeroom space at UCCI. According to Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler they will also have a tutor and a tutorial structure, which will offer them increased guidance and monitoring, in addition to the support provided through UCCI's Student Services Unit and Faculty Advisors. Students will also have access to new specialised courses developed by UCCI to introduce them to college life and to help develop the critical thinking skills essential for higher-level study. These courses also carry college credits. To qualify for this programme (the UCCI Dual-entry Programme) students had to achieve a minimum of five good passes, that is grades I-III in CXC or A* to C in GCSE or IGCSE, including maths and English. UCCI President Roy Bodden expressed his strong support for these new developments. "At UCCI we welcome the opportunity to enhance our role in the CIFEC Dual-entry Programme. We have embraced the challenge set by the Ministry this year to create an enhanced learning environment, with additional programmes and support for our CIFEC students. While we are finalising some matters, our Student Services team is already working with these young people, and the new programmes are underway." A joint Ministry/UCCI formal information session for participating students and their parents will be announced shortly. The Year 12 Programme was launched in September 2010 by the Education Ministry at the new Cayman Islands Centre for Further Education (CIFEC). The centre offers a wide range of further learning opportunities for students of all abilities, following the completion of their school leaving external examinations. These include opportunities to re-sit CXC/IGCSE/GCE examinations, to improve grades; Advanced Placement (AP) studies; new externally accredited TVET subjects; and participation in the dual-entry programme, to attend UCCI or to study 'A' Levels.