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Open Campus Counts Its Blessing

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AS the Christmas season moves into high gear and 2014 draws all too quickly to a close, The UWI Open Campus continues to count its many blessings. No greater blessing did we receive this year than the record number of students who graduated from the Open Campus across the region – many of whom received the highest possible honours. Join us as we celebrate the success of two remarkable young ladies, Ms Karalisa Joseph and Mrs. Liz Richard – Altfois – each with their own words of wisdom to impart, each with their own formula for success.

Ms Karalisa Joseph is a highly motivated young lady, always in pursuit of excellence. A past student of the Leon Hess family as well as the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, she currently lives with her family of seven where she is the oldest of five girls. Currently employed within the Banking and Financial Services sector in St. Lucia, a BSc in Management (Economics Minor) seemed the logical programme to pursue.

“My decision to join The UWI Open Campus was an impulsive one. However, it was the most convenient and economical choice for me. …….Self-discipline and determination provided footholds to my success. I had to be disciplined enough to focus through the numerous distractions, even when that meant shutting down my data plan for months on end so that I could study. I also had to be determined that I would achieve and keep my head up through thick and thin.”

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Of note is that a major motivating force for Karalisa was a speech delivered at the 2010 SALCC Graduation Ceremony where, guest speaker, Dr. Adrian Augier challenged graduands with the words “…you simply cannot spend two years here at the very pinnacle of local learning just to graduate into obscurity. Education is the very process by which any society renews and improves itself…”

These words resonated with Karalisa, remaining with her as she continued the struggle of balancing work and study and helping her believe she could achieve success. Other major sources of inspiration were her friends and family, especially her parents Jerome and Bertha Joseph, whose support was paramount.

Like Karalisa, Liz Richard-Altifois is also thankful to have had an excellent support system throughout her journey with the Open Campus.

I knew that I wanted to attain first class honours” said a determined Liz, “and I knew that there were many factors which could directly impact that goal. It was also important for me to attain this honour, because I wanted to show my sons that you really can accomplish anything if you make the necessary sacrifices and put in the work needed.”

“I am indebted to so many for being able to achieve this extraordinary honour. Firstly there’s the Lord Almighty who saw me through this very challenging period in my life; my husband and sons, the numerous colleagues, relatives and friends who provided moral support throughout the process, and of course, the Staff of the Open Campus, including a slate of well trained and supportive tutors who ensured that through their commitment of time, every opportunity was afforded me to be as successful as I have been.”

“There is a growing demand for online education all over the world as working professionals look for more flexible options to increase their education and remain competitive. I think that the Open Campus has positioned itself to do just that. Further, the quality of the degree programmes offered by UWI is comparable to others offered by renowned universities. The programmes are cost effective and that augers well for St. Lucia and St. Lucians as a whole who are eager to avail themselves of the opportunity to enrol in online programmes”

“I always wanted to be able to make an impact. Having completed this programme, I believe that I am now in a position to assess the literacy performance of students, with a view to determining their strengths and their needs, in order to be able to structure quality instructional programmes for those struggling with literacy. Part of my role now includes advocacy for students and serving as a resource for other teachers, parents and the community. “

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