With a mission to prepare students for career placement and enhancement, the International College of the Cayman Islands is reporting an impressive success rate for this year’s slate of graduates.

Forty-six ICCI students received degrees at a commencement ceremony held at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Feb. 9. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and Education Minister Tara Rivers gave congratulatory remarks and awarded the diplomas, while Butterfield, Cayman Islands Bankers’ Association, Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants, Cayman National, and EY presented awards to the top academically achieving students, a press release states.

“This class is really phenomenal,” said ICCI President David Marshall at the ceremony. “These graduates achieved academically. They are professionally polished. They are critical thinkers. They have demonstrated a commitment to service. These are the career oriented values that employers all over the world want to see from degree earners. I am just beaming with pride.”

According to the release, 97 percent of the graduates are employed, in an internship program, or report receiving a raise, promotion or other job benefit as the result of their ICCI education. Additionally, 96 percent passed their internationally benchmarked comprehensive exams on their first attempt, while 81 percent scored at or better than their global counterparts on the ETS Proficiency Profile writing test.

Out of this year’s graduates, five students, Cynthia Campbell, Paula Grierson-Thompson, Patriann Monteith, Simone Riley and Diana Virtue, earned a master of business administration, the highest degree offered at the college. Seven students earned other master’s degrees with concentrations in human resources and education management.

According to the release, 17 students received bachelor of science degrees and 17 earned associate degrees. The major areas of study in this class were accounting, business administration, finance, human and social services, hotel and tourism management, office administration and general studies. The cohort of graduates included six civil servants who work in departments including Customs, Department of Children and Family Services and the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs.

Sociologist Bertice Berry, a best-selling author, educator and lecturer gave the commencement address. She urged graduates to use their education to find their purpose in life and to use that purpose to make a difference in the lives of others.

“It’s not enough that you have earned a degree and that you have made it. You are not set free just for yourself. You are set free to set someone else free,” said Ms. Berry.

“Everyone you touch should know that if you can go to college and graduate, they can too.”

Sociologist Bertice Berry gave the commencement address.

Mr. Marshall said the college will do a thorough review of how graduates are doing in six months; however, he said that the initial evaluation of the class appears strong.

“The stellar performance of this class is evidence that ICCI’s emphasis on academic standards is the right thing to do. We are not letting anyone walk across the commencement stage unless he or she has demonstrated the competencies in his or her degree area. Our goal is to only send work-ready graduates to employers,” he said.

Diane Ricketts, who earned a master of science in management, said ICCI has helped her grow professionally, given her an opportunity to travel abroad and prepared her to be a leader. She is now pursuing a doctoral degree in education at Walden University.

“My experience at ICCI has taught me that I can go out and achieve any goal I want,” she said.

“I am more confident than ever. I’m doing very well in my doctoral program and I know it is because of my level of preparation.”

RBC Royal Bank Cayman Limited and Foster’s Food Fair were the official sponsors of the event.

Sociologist Bertice Berry gave the commencement address.
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