Excelsior Community College bridges the ‘digital divide’ with opening of E-Learning Facility

Excelsior Community College will open its first ever E-Learning Centre (ELC) at a ceremony on Tuesday May 30 at 12:30 p.m. at its main campus.

The keynote speaker at the ceremony will be Minister of Science, Technology & Energy, Dr. the Honourable Andrew Wheatley.

Faculty, students and the communities in and around Mountain View will benefit from this initiative. Lecturers, for example, can now develop online resources and learning tools for those utilizing the eLearning facility and address students’ inability to purchase learning materials such as textbooks because they can now be accessed online. Students will now have access to further training in Information Communications Technology (ICT).

The lab aims to improve the academic performance of students; improve the teaching dynamics between teachers and students; train and equip students with the requisite skills needed to meet the needs of the twenty-first century workforce and improve the ICT skills of community members.

According to principal, Philmore McCarthy, “The opening of this E-Learning Centre is an innovative educational initiative that has been long overdue and was in the pipelines for months. It was first given the green-light by the previous minister and was endorsed and facilitated by the current minister.”

He continues, “It will change the teaching and learning process for both teachers and students and allow community members in the Mountain View area and its environs even greater access to the College. It will further enable ECC to produce a workforce that can fit into a globalized, knowledge-based economy.”

Mr. McCarthy further stated that the lab is one of the many initiatives of ECC to fulfill its key strategic objectives of producing employable graduates and to meet the needs of the communities that the College serves.

Communities within the Kingston and St. Andrew area are slated to benefit. Milton Tomlinson, president of the Mountain View Community Council, stated, “Communities will benefit from the development of an eLearning centre at ECC through the engagement of students without computer access at home, senior citizens, unattached youth and youth-at-risk who will be able to access the facility. This is how we transform lives.”

The lab is equipped with thirty-one desktop computers, a Wacom pen and touching drawing pad; a laser printer; wide-format inkjet printer and an interactive white board with mounted projector among other things.

The state-of-the-art-facility was funded by Universal Service Fund.