Sun, Sea, Sand and good times, is what describes the “Friendly Island” of St. Maarten, affectionately known as a unique paradise by most who visit the island. The tourism industry is the main source of income on the island, thus creating educational programs that caters to and enhances this industry is an absolute must.
In being an institute of vision, who makes purposeful strides in catering to the needs of the community, NIPA recently signed an MOU, for the development of level 3 and 4 programs, with Colegio Educacion Profesional Intermedio (EPI). EPI is considered to be one of the leading Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management School in the Dutch Caribbean, located on “Dushi” Aruba. With the assistance of EPI, NIPA aspires to offer programs which include: a level 3 Associates of Applied Science of Food & Beverage and Culinary Arts, a level 4 Associates of Arts in Hotel, Leisure and Travel and a level 4+ Associate of Science degree in Hospitality Management. These programs are scheduled to start in September of the new school year.
EPI and NIPA share mutual interest in providing a quality curriculum, to equip students with a broad-based view of the hospitality industry. Furthermore, the idea is for students to receive in-depth training in the methodologies necessary to succeed not only as hospitality professionals, but as active and productive members of the community.
This formal collaboration entails the exchanging of information, best practices and expertise. Not only will EPI be assisting with the development of the level 3 and 4 programs in Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs, NIPA will be assisting EPI in the implementation of the Maritime Assistant and Boat Master program at EPI. Additionally, NIPA staff will have the opportunity to pursue American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) / Global Academic Partner (GAP) adult education programs via EPI.
What can probably be considered as the most exciting part of this collaboration is the opportunity for students and teachers to travel between the islands for internship and teaching opportunities.
Hospitality is the foundation of the economy of St. Maarten, and thus it only make sense that such programs are created, in an effort to continue to enhance our greatness as a nation, and leadership in this industry.