Sunday 25 October, 2020

Lack of revenue forces COSTAATT to terminate short semester

COSTAATT's Chaguanas Campus located at Pierre Road, Connector.

COSTAATT's Chaguanas Campus located at Pierre Road, Connector.

The College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT) has announced a number of changes to treat with declining GATE revenue, starting with the discontinuation of the short semester.

In a statement issued to students, COSTAATT noted that as a publicly funded agency, it has faced budget cuts, slow reimbursement of GATE by the Government and declining GATE revenue.

The College said it was informed that 2018 would be an equally difficult year as it relates to funding and added that it opted to be proactive and ensure that necessary adjustments are taken, to maintain college operations.

As such, the following changes have been announced:  

  • With effect from Semester I 2017/2018, the College‚Äôs will revert to a predominantly two-semester academic calendar, with the short session being reserved for courses for students who are on track to graduate in November 2018. Other students may enrol in these courses if they are eligible to do so, and if there is space. Arrangements will also be put in place for programmes with year-round clinical placements and internships, such as nursing.
  • In order to reduce expenditure on leasing arrangements, management has also taken the decision to discontinue offering classes at the Bishop Anstey High School, Port of Spain and the Naparima College in San Fernando from September 2017 and to consolidate its programme delivery at its main campus sites.     

According to COSTAATT, these budget management measures were taken as it facilitates many academic activities that can improve learning outcomes and GPA. It said this break will allow for group and research projects. The College added that this calendar will allow Departments sufficient time to re-introduce supplemental examinations so that students who have failed a course by one or two percentage points will not have to repeat the course at their own expense.

COSTAATT also sought to point out to students that on the bright side, the two-semester model would create a more extensive time frame for student internships, clinical placements and service learning projects which will enhance student workplace readiness and employability. It further noted that a shift of the final examination period for Semester I from December to January will provide additional study time and better learning outcomes

The College also noted that it will now have sufficient time in the June-August period to undertake selected facilities upgrade projects required to enhance the teaching-learning environment for students, faculty and staff at all campus sites.

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