This past Saturday’s SGPP graduation marked the culmination of a decade-and-a-half of collaboration, cooperation, and partnership between Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and the Catholic College of Mandeville, Jamaica. After a year or two of planning, Saint Mary’s launched its Master of Education and Teaching and Learning degree in partnership with the Catholic College of the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica in August 2008. Initiated at the request of the first Bishop of the Diocese of Mandeville, Paul Boyle, CP, to then President Brother Louis DeThomasis, the program has served well over 400 students and has conferred the M.Ed. on nearly 350 Jamaica K-12 teachers and school administrators.

This past Friday night a celebratory banquet was held with a number of this year’s graduates who had traveled from Jamaica to Minneapolis, each with family and friends, to participate in Saturday morning’s graduation, held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis. The banquet also provided the occasion to acknowledge the great spirit of cooperation between our two institutions over the years and the fact that all believe that CCM is now in a position to take on the program as their own. Starting in the fall, the M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning in Jamaica will belong to the Catholic College of Mandeville, which will administer and deliver it in full cooperation with and with the approval of the University Council of Jamaica.

On behalf of Father James P. Burns, Brother Robert Smith presented a commemorative plaque to Dr. Dianna Davis-Smith, President of CCM that reads:

In recognition of the culmination
of the successful academic partnership between the
Catholic College of Mandeville and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota,
offering the Master of Education in Teaching and Learning in Jamaica.

Together serving learners from 2008-2022.

Saturday morning’s graduation was a wonderful in-person celebration for those students who could travel from Jamaica; another graduation will take place to mark the conferral of this year’s degrees at a ceremony on CCM’s campus in October.

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