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Sep 29, 2006

Galen to hold first graduation on Saturday

Story PictureIn related news, this weekend another university in Belize will celebrate an important milestone. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports from the Cayo district.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
Tucked away in the rolling hills of the Cayo District, some sixty-two and a half miles from Belize City is Galen University. The tertiary level institution was established three years ago with a mission ?to provide excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.?

Dr. Nancy Adamson, C.E.O./Provost, Galen University
?It came about from a group of Belizean and Canadian and Cypriates who had met in Belize and saw the opportunity for private education. We spent about two years planning Galen and opened our doors in September 2003. We had fourteen students in that first class.?

Today the university boasts a hundred and forty students and is preparing for its first graduation ceremonies this coming weekend.

Dr. Eve Aird, Dir. Of Curriculum and Instruction, Galen Univ.
?It?s a historic moment for us, it?s a day that we?ve worked long and hard for and I am sure it is very historic for many of our students. We are going to be having about seventeen students graduating: one with an associate?s degree, about eight with bachelor?s degrees in different areas of business as well as hospitality and tourism management, and about seven students graduating with the first ever Belizean MBA, Masters in Business Administration degree.?

Students can also pursue degrees in areas such as environmental science, anthropology, and archaeology. According to C.E.O. Dr. Nancy Adamson, the university also offers Belizean students the opportunity to get a U.S. degree without having to step foot out of the country.

Dr. Nancy Adamson
?When you?re a new university and people don?t know about you, they understandable have a lot of concerns about quality and we worked with the University of Indianapolis who has some other international partnerships to form a partnership which would allow us to give the very same degree that?s given at Indianapolis in the U.S. in Belize. So our students take exactly the same programme as our counterparts there. At the end of their students they receive a Galen University degree and the University of Indianapolis degree and they can get a transcript from either university.?

That dual degree is attracting students far and wide to its campus.

Christy Hernandez, Student, Galen University
?The reason I choose Galen was when I get a degree I get a dual degree from Indianapolis and from Galen and also, they have a high quality of teaching and it?s small and private. I live in Toledo.?

Kendra Griffith
?And so you have to commute everyday? How do you do it??

Christy Hernandez
?I board in San Ignacio and then I go home every two weeks.?

Mario Sanchez, Student, Galen University
?I was living in Belize City, but I moved up here because I wanted to be closer to school. I didn?t want to have to commute everyday. I am majoring in international business and minoring in hospitality and tourism management.?

Kendra Griffith
?Mario, why did you choose Galen??

Mario Sanchez
?Because I wanted a quality education and unfortunately I didn?t think U.B. could offer that to me.?

And to ensure that quality education, administrators insist on skilled educators.

Dr. Nancy Adamson
?Our faculty is very well qualified. We have many people with PhDs in their. So we?re very concerned about having high quality education. We?re very demanding of our students and they rise to the occasion.?

Because it?s a private institution and not subsidized by the government, Galen?s two hundred and twenty dollars per credit hour is over twice as much as U.B.?s ninety dollar rate. But Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Eve Aird, says don?t be put off by the price.

Dr. Eve Aird
?While Galen is a bit more expensive than other institutions in Belize, we also offer?it?s a good accredited degree for the cost, it?s much cheaper than going to the U.S. But we also have a nice financing programme in place for students so that they could come to our financial office and speak to a counsellor and that person would help them to access financial counselling, financial aid.?

With services like that, Dr. Adamson sees big things in Galen?s future.

Dr. Nancy Adamson
?We see Galen growing substantially. I hope in five years from now we have five hundred, seven hundred students. Obviously we?ll expand this campus; we?ll do more building so that we?ve got more classrooms, more office space. We see Galen playing an important role in preparing the future leaders of Belize and showcasing Belize as a place for international students to do study abroad.?

Kayla Grant, Student, Galen University
?It?s a very nice school, the teachers they teach very, very good, excellent teaching. And I would suggest anyone, you know, come over to Galen, it?s a very nice place and Cayo it like one of the best places, there?s a lot of sightseeing and you really do learn a lot.?

Administrators say they have plans to offer an M.B.A. programme in Belize City starting in January.

Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

Guest Speaker at Galen’s first commencement exercise is Citrus Grower’s Association Bridget Cullerton. The ceremony starts at 2:00 p.m. at the San Ignacio Hotel. For more information on Galen University, you can visit their website at www.galen.edu.bz or call 824-3226.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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