Alternative programme for students

  • Hard at work: Kwa-Z Dill with Mr Michael Stowe repairing a lawn mower

    Hard at work: Kwa-Z Dill with Mr Michael Stowe repairing a lawn mower

  • Kirk Wilkes working on a small engine repair

    Kirk Wilkes working on a small engine repair

  • Repair man: Cejay Outerbridge seen at an electrical work station

    Repair man: Cejay Outerbridge seen at an electrical work station

Young Observer met with Mr Stowe and students at The Bermuda Technical Training School last week.

The school currently offers the High School Completion Programme. The programme delivers alternative high school studies for students experiencing difficulty maintaining a satisfactory rate of progress and level of achievement in a traditional high school. Others have dropped out of high school.

Mr Stowe told us: “We will grant admission to male and female students 14 to 19 years of age for the purpose of completing high school and/or acquiring technical and vocational skills and qualifications to enter the workforce.

“However, we will only accept students who demonstrate a positive attitude, compliance with rules and proper conduct and appropriate behaviour that are indicative of their desire to learn, achieve and make a positive contribution to the learning environment.”

The programme was devised and specifically serves as an effective alternative education strategy.

It provides high school academic studies and vocational/technical education from an accredited and internationally recognised provider, Penn Foster.

The Penn Foster High School diploma is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. This agency accredits Bermuda Institute, The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy.

The primary purpose of the High School Completion Programme is to:

• Enable students to earn a high school or a technical qualification diploma;

• Equip students with the methods, processes, discipline and personal management skills to engage learning.

• Provide students with successful school-to-work and school-to-post secondary transition strategies.

The programme utilises a distance education examination platform. And, it is delivered, supported and facilitated locally on a daily basis through: Small classes, self-paced studies, individualised education plans, small group tutoring and academic and technical study options

The High School Completion Programme consists of 17 academic courses, including, but not limited to: learning skills, human relations, written communication, American history, reading skills, biology, practical English, basic English, general Math I, II, earth science, world history, literature, fitness and nutrition, geography, physical science, civics and five electives, academic or vocational.

The programme utilises hands-on technical training with industry-grade equipment provided by industry. The five high school vocational education programmes listed below are available as electives to the general academic programme.

Many of the electives listed below are only available at the centre. And the students have the option to transfer the credit to earn a full technical/vocational career post-secondary diploma.

The vocational/technical studies include:

• Small engine repair

• Electrical /electronics

• Computers

• Health care studies

“Bermuda Tech” has a school-to-work transition strategy. A 10-month technical training programme in either small engine repair or the multi-tech studies programme: electrical, electronics, computers and small engine repair is available. High school graduation is not required.

This is a technical career development programme for career employment purposes. The students will attend classes each day for three hours. In the morning they may serve a practicum with industry to enhance work-based competencies and experience.

Although this is not a “job” arrangement initially, it is intended that the practicum will lead to employment when the student earns his diploma in 10 months.

The programme will enable a student who is not ready to earn a high school diploma to identify a career path, earn a technical qualification and get connected with industry before completing high school, or he can do both simultaneously.

Please contact Michael Stowe for more information on telephone: 236-4857, e-mail:

* * * *

Cejay Outerbridge is 19 years old. An only child, he remembers at Christmas time enjoying receiving remote control cars to play with and then take them apart for fun.

At 17, things were not working out for him at CedarBridge Academy and he found himself getting into trouble. It was hard to concentrate on his studies. He was still in S1 so a decision was made to transfer him to The High School Completion Programme.

Cejay told us “I enjoy coming to school now, I am able to move at my own pace, my grades have increased I have a B+ average and earned 97% in my small engine technician examination.”

Mr Stowe told us: “Cejay is our first engine technician in high school. He is scheduled to complete the course at the end of term. He will be leaving us with two diplomas: Small Engine Repair Diploma and High School Diploma.”

* * * *

Kirk Wilkes is 16 years old, he has been in The Bermuda High School Completion Programme for two years. He is currently studying for his high school diploma which includes computers, small engines, basic electronics and is taking Small Business Management as an elective.

Kirk told us: “There were too many distractions at school for me, I found it hard to focus, I am doing much better with the one-on-one teaching with an instructor. I hope to complete the high school diploma at the end of next March when I will be 17. I would like to go on and join the British Army after I complete my diploma.”

* * * *

Kwa-Z Dill started The Bermuda High School Completion Programme when he was 16. Mr Stowe told us “Kwa-Z is a very good student and has made good progress. He is one of the most organised students we have with reference to attendance, punctuality and work. His work is always well planned and executed.”

Kwa-Z asked us to “thank his mother and Mr Stowe” in the article. Mr Stowe went on to tell us: “These young men and their progress make my work extremely gratifying.”

* * * *

Michael Stowe

Mr Michael Stowe has many years of experience in technical training programme design, development, implementation and evaluation management. In 2002, he designed and implemented Tech Quest 2000 – The Next Generation Programme. Students admitted to the programme were tradesmen, technicians and vocational employees. The programme developed the next generation technology managers, technical educators and technologists. The most accomplished student, previously a high school dropout, earned the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and PhD degrees in engineering.

Michael has a respected achievement-focused, results-driven, and a proven technical-knowhow reputation. He draws on more than 44 years of technology practitioner experience, instructorship, managing technical training processes and building strategic education and training relationships and alliances.

He was the lead technical officer in the public sector for eight years developing national training policy, legislation, regulations, a national training organisation and national training apprenticeship and certification systems. As the founder/manager of the Bermuda Technical Training Centre, he provides high school completion studies and technical training for at-risk young men. The Centre serves as an outsource delivering vocational education to Government, industry, and private and independent schools. In addition, the Centre operates Alliance Workforce Solutions, a technical staff development resource.

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Published Oct 29, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 29, 2015 at 2:14 am)

Alternative programme for students

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