After three years of sleepless nights and countless sacrifices, Lorin Warren finally graduated from the Barbados Community College (BCC) at the top of her class with an associate degree in arts (accounting and economics) with distinction, and a 4.0 grade point average (GPA).
However, on graduation night Warren was shocked to discover that despite her achievements, the BCC failed to recognize or reward her. She had been bypassed for a scholarship or exhibition because she completed her associate degree in three years instead of the mandatory two years.
This, she said, she understood. But she found it difficult to understand why the school acted as though she had never gone through the programme.
“I was extremely upset . . . I kind of understand why they can’t give me a scholarship, but what really had me upset was that I got no recognition at all. Not at graduation; I got no award, nothing,” said the 20-year-old.
“Working so hard over three years . . . three years does not undermine my achievements, it doesn’t undermine all the hard work I put in; I still got straight A’s so it was very upsetting that no mention could have been made.”
She explained that her ineligibility for the scholarship was a bitter pill to swallow because she only found out during her final year.
Warren entered BCC in 2012, choosing to pursue three majors but dropped one at the end of the first semester. It meant having to complete her courses in three years, which she thought would have meant a less intense schedule. But not once did she ever imagine she would be disqualified from receiving an award to pursue further studies.
Even the tutors, she contended, did not seem to realize what was to come.
“I don’t think they were sure that I was going to be affected. If I knew earlier I would have done something to make sure I was still going to be eligible,” she said.
However, the former St Michael School pupil said while she was disappointed she was not disheartened and would explore her options to further her education.
When contacted today, acting BCC Registrar Roger Worrell said the Barbados Community College had not overlooked Lorin’s achievements, but rather there was an oversight on part of the presenter at the graduation ceremony.
“The school did not fully overlook her achievements because in the handbook that is prepared prior to graduation, it is specifically mentioned that she was awarded a distinction,” he said.
However, “what should have happened, is that the presenter at the actual graduation [when] calling the names, they should have mentioned that Ms Lorin Warren received a distinction – that was overlooked”.
Recognising that this was the first time that a student has received a 4.0 GPA over a three year period, Worrell noted that changes must
be implemented in order to ensure there was no recurrence.
“We have to look . . . next time to ensure that persons who reach that type of situation, in terms of a perfect GPA, they are specifically mentioned,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“Even though they might not be qualified to get a Barbados scholarship, they should still be recognised by the college itself and we are looking into that” Worrell added. (KK)