Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Quality Assurance and its Relevance to TAMCC

 

What is Quality Assurance and what is its relevance to the T.A.Marryshow Community College as an institution? The concept of quality assurance is not new to the T.A, Marryshow Community College. This institution has always been concerned about quality and as a result, the first framework was developed in 2015 “T.A. Marryshow Community College Quality Assurance Management System Framework”. However, due to the recent MOU signed between the TAMCC, Mc Master University, the Petna Foundation and The Government of Grenada ( 2016), TAMCC is on a drive to improve its quality assurance practices.

Vlasceanu et al (2007) define quality assurance as, “An all embracing term referring to an ongoing, continuous process of evaluating (assessing, monitoring, guaranteeing, maintaining, and improving) the quality of a higher education system, institutions, or programmes. As a regulatory mechanism, quality assurance focuses on both accountability and improvement, providing information and judgments (not ranking) through an agreed upon and consistent process and well established criteria.” (p. 95) Quality assurance further encompasses such concepts as quality control, quality assessment, quality enhancement and quality management.

Why is quality assurance important?

·         To guarantee high quality provision and excellence in teaching;

·         To examine and enhance teaching and learning activities;

·         To provide greater accountability to stakeholders, student partners, professional and statutory and regulatory bodies;

·         To create a supportive and participatory environment for teaching and learning, and assessment

·         To create greater trust in the degrees and certificates offered by the college;

·         To ensure that there are strict policies with regards to programme and course development, delivery, assessment, monitoring and review;

·         To build capacity;

·         To perform continuous revision and updates to keep abreast with changes in society, revelation of new information, content , processes and findings;

·         To disseminate best practices for the enhancement of teaching, learning and assessment

Quality assurance is very broad and as a result the TAMCC’s curriculum /QA team has been given the mandate to develop policies and frameworks geared at enhancing the teaching and learning process at the TAMCC. The team attended its first retreat at Mc Master University Canada in April 2017 with a view to identifying the gaps in TAMCC’s QA framework, policies and practices; understudying McMaster’s QA Framework, policies and practices, and developing documents relative to programme approval, self studies and overall quality assurance activities at the TAMCC.

In the next article, we will discuss the components and function of an Academic Quality Assurance Framework as well as a brief description of the team’s work to date.

 

Team members:

Mr. Michael Noel team leader and Dean of SASPS)

Mr. Cecil Johnson ( co- leader and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education SASPS)

Mr. Martin Williams ( Quality Assurance Officer)

Dr. John Telesford ( Associate Dean, SCE)

Mrs. Marlene Finlay ( Dean SAAT)

Mr. Ali Hinds ( Faculty- SAAT and Chair of General Education)

Mrs. Sherma Charles ( Faculty- Teacher Education/SASPS)

Mrs. Kemoy Edwards-Sylvester ( Faculty SASPS /Chair of Arts, Humanities & General Studies)

 

References:

 

Vlasceanu, L. Grunberg, L & Parlea,D. (2007). Quality assurance and accreditation: A glossary of basic terms and definitions.np: Unesco-Cepes

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