Like any other organization, MCAST must function within established parameters which are in turn regulated by the College’s policies and procedures and which may at times be influenced by unforeseen circumstances.
The issue of student recruitment and progression features among MCAST listed policies. MCAST’s popularity may easily be perceived if one were to consider the expansion in learner numbers over the last few years. With a staggering increase of 16% in its student population this year alone, the College is at times experiencing difficulty to accommodate all requests for places which situation is at times exacerbated by both the preferred and the ever increasing number of courses offered.
In line with standard practice in contemporary educational institutions, students at MCAST must complete a number of study units, which are in turn based on learning outcomes and which the learner must satisfy as per programme requirements. Needless to say, there are instances when students do not manage to satisfy the standards required in certain units. While some students manage to remedy the situation straightaway following a resit, others do not. This notwithstanding, MCAST is still prepared to allow these students to return the following year to reattempt the study unit or units and to satisfy the outstanding learning outcomes to achieve their full diploma.
In view of the expansion referred to earlier, however, this opportunity has to be limited to courses which still have available places. In this regard, the Institute of Information and Communication Technology was this year constrained to decline to give students yet another chance at passing the failed study units. This was because the number of computer stations, large as it stands, necessary to allow these students to resit the failed units with attendance had been taken up by new applicants.
With an aim to accommodating these students, MCAST looked into a number of options, for example, holding extra classes in the evening, or supporting them through an ESF programme. Yet, none of these options proved feasible. Through MCAST’s determination, however, a solution for the 34 students was found with the help of the Private Training Providers, namely Computer Domain and St Martin’s College, who are already involved in delivering MCAST courses. Not only were they prepared to accept these students, but they did so free of charge. This sign of solidarity with MCAST is indeed laudable and augurs well for the future in terms of collaboration.