COSTAATT clarifies its position
Over the last week, the Board and Management of COSTAATT have taken note of representations in the print and electronic media that depict the College as being in a state of crisis. The terms "retrenchment", "demise", and "closure" have appeared in various fora and are currently circulating on multiple social media platforms.
These representations which have no basis in fact, have generated significant and unwarranted concerns among the College's student body, staff and local and international partners and stakeholders.
As the home of the Ken Gordon School of Journalism and Communication Studies, we have a deep appreciation of the various strategies which can be deployed to generate and sustain interest among readers and viewers in a particular story. In the current instance however, such strategies have now had the effect of seriously misrepresenting the facts and causing potential reputational harm to the College.
We take this opportunity therefore to set the record straight:
- There has been no discussion at COSTAATT of retrenchment of staff. Since inception, the College has operated with a small full time staff complement relative to its student enrolment. The question of retrenchment therefore does not arise and in fact, the College will be hiring additional faculty and staff in the coming months.
- The Minister of Education’s statement that COSTAATT had lost its way referenced events almost a decade ago when a previous college administration had a different vision for the College's development path. Minister Garcia further clarified in this. In his interview with TV6 on Monday January 22nd, 2018 that COSTAATT was originally established to serve as the national community college and that the current board and management were focused on giving effect to that mandate.
- The College is not in the process of "contracting its operations" nor is it on the verge of collapse. Like all responsible higher education institutions, it must constantly review and amend its programme offerings to be relevant to the needs of a dynamic and evolving society. We are therefore paying close attention to the key sectors identified for economic diversification and as we have done in the past, we are reviewing programme offering to cater for demand in these particular areas. In this context, the introduction of new programmes and discontinuation of programmes as a normal phenomenon in academe and ought not to be interpreted as evidence of a crisis.
- COSTAATT has so far been able to successfully navigate the rough economic waters in which the country, as a whole has found itself. We continue to infuse core principles of entrepreneurship throughout our curriculum and our operations, which we believe will not only serve us well during these times but aid the country in emerging stronger from the downturn of the economy.
- In November 2011 COSTAATT was awarded institutional re-accreditation by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) for the maximum period of seven (7) years, providing further evidence of the fundamental soundness and anticipated sustainability of the College's operations.
We trust that these facts help to clarify any misconceptions that may have taken hold in the wake of the recent media coverage and wish to assure the general public our students and staff that we remain committed to delivering on our mission of providing affordable, accessible and high quality education to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
We take this opportunity to thank the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff for the dedication and commitment to the College's ongoing success.