The launch of The University of Trinidad and Tobago's Personal Tutor Programme was held on February 1st, 2018 at the University's O'Meara Campus in Arima, with more than eighty (80) students and academics present.
UTT's innovative Personal Tutor Programme, is a student-centered initiative with its objectives being to address student retention and academic success of students. A pilot of the Personal Tutor programme will see 1st year students from select UTT programmes, assigned a Personal Tutor (PT) from among full-time faculty attached to UTT's Foundations and Prior Learning (FPL). The PTs will provide guidance, advising, academic coaching and support to UTT students on financial, social and academic matters.
Addressing the audience at the launch, Professor Sarim Al-Zubaidy, President of UTT declared that, “The Personal Tutor Programme, places the student at the centre of [UTT's] learning process”. He stated that the PTs were there to “support the students and be a source of encouragement, allowing students to become more self-aware of [their] strengths.”
Dr. Andrew Hunte, Assistant Professor - Mathematics & Programme Leader for Foundations & Prior Learning, lauded the efforts of the University for implementing this forward-thinking initiative. He highlighted the fact that “UTT is joining ongoing discussions with other tertiary institutions across the world that provide academic coaching and social support to its students.” He further added that “this great initiative demonstrates UTT's commitment to current and future students.”
Mr. Julien Stenson, a first-year student of UTT's Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Petroleum Engineering programme, is just one of the students who will benefit from UTT's personal tutoring initiative. He had this to say at the launch, “UTT's Personal Tutor Programme is a very innovative idea and it is the first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago”. He predicts that the programme will “positively impact students' lives because of its mentorship and support”.
In the pilot phase, five hundred and thirty-two (532) students across UTT will each be assigned a Personal Tutor. Full implementation of UTT's Personal Tutor Programme will take place from September, 2018.