Two graduates from the International College of the Cayman Islands are heading to Nottingham Law School in the United Kingdom this fall after Nottingham accepting their degrees because they are United States accredited.
With a bachelor’s degree in finance at ICCI, Arleth Ebanks was thrilled that she was admitted into Nottingham to pursue a graduate diploma in law, an intense one-year conversion course that enables graduates with non-law degrees to qualify as a solicitor or barrister. Nottingham is ranked among the top law schools in the UK and is one of the leading centres in the world for legal research.
“This is a huge step for ICCI,” Ms Ebanks said. “This shows that accreditation is important and that ICCI is on a good path and it is doing great things.”
As she prepares to head off to the UK, Ms. Ebanks said she was overwhelmed and excited at the same time.
“The international experience in the UK will be a huge advantage and it is something I, and other young Caymanians, need to do, in order to be competitive in the market today. I encourage people to think outside of the box, because in order to get something you don’t have, you need to do something you have never done,” Ms Ebanks said.
Her husband, Paul Ebanks, who earned an MBA at ICCI, was also admitted into Nottingham’s programme.
All students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at ICCI must take and pass a comprehensive examination near the end of their studies. The computerised two-hour exam is conducted by the Education Testing Service and asks students 120 questions on subjects covered within their programme from accounting and finance to marketing and management. The exam and grading is completely external from the institutions so it is an objective indicator of how an institution and its curriculum is measuring up worldwide.
Last year, students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business at ICCI had an average score in the top 50 per cent worldwide for their comprehensive exam. The exam is administered to more than 400 universities including Baylor University, Northeastern, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Tulane, SUNY, Florida State University and the University of South Florida. ICCI graduates Lloyd Lohle and Mason Chisholm scored in the top 8 and top 9 per cent worldwide among 33,000 students taking the exam.
“I felt the main objective of the exam was to see how much you retained from the subjects of study over the course of three years,” said Mr. Lohle, whose finance degree provided a deeper understanding of his work in risk and regulatory compliance at Ogier.
“For me, the results of the comprehensive exam affirmed that ICCI’s quality of education is on par with the US and the UK standards,” said Mr. Lohle.
Mr. Chisholm said he was overloaded with courses and work right before the exam and he didn’t have time to study. He was expecting to have to retake it, so he was surprised to score in the top 9 per cent among 33,000 students.
The comprehensive exam is designed to access mastery of concepts, principles, and knowledge at the end of the business degree. It also evaluates the ability to solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material, explained ICCI president Dr. Tasha Ebanks Garcia.
“These exam results are a testament to the quality of instructors we have at ICCI and to the students who are holding their own at the international level,” Dr. Ebanks Garcia said.
Many students at ICCI juggle work, going to school at night, and raising families and it can be tough going for a few years, explained Dean Scott Cummings.
“But time and time again, I hear back from graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business or an MBA and they say that it was all worth it because they are getting better career opportunities both here and overseas,” he said. “And in many cases like Arleth Ebanks, our graduates are able to pursue another degree at a prestigious university because of our US accreditation.”
The dean said that for working professionals who are considering going back to school to either start or finish a degree, registration for the fall quarter is ongoing with classes starting 17 September.