Published On: Thu, Oct 6th, 2016

Pre-USM students graduate

GREAT BAY – The University of St. Martin hosted the USM Preparatory Program (PRE-USM) class of 2016 Graduation Ceremony in the presence of Minister Silveria Jacobs (Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs).  The minister had encouraging words to the graduates and stressed the importance for programs such as the PRE-USM program, which guides young people in taking steps to obtain their tertiary education degree by enrolling in a college or university.

President of the University of St. Maarten Foundation Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet applauded the graduates for taking the necessary steps to accomplish their ultimate goal which is becoming a college educated citizen. Giterson-Pantophlet also acknowledged those students who made extra sacrifices to participate in the program. Some had enormous responsibilities such as leaving their children at home or working a full-time job and still manage to attend classes every day and pass the exams.

Katiusca Rodriguez received an award for having the highest average score from English instructor Dorothy Richardson, who stated that she is really proud to present the award to her. “I recall the first time meeting Katiusca in elementary school. She could not speak English but within four months she managed to speak the language fluently. When she graduated from sixth grade she told me that she is not going to remain on that level, but she had dreams to go higher and higher. The day I got the list of the PRE-USM students and I saw her name; I said YES she made it.”

The Pre-USM program is a 10-month college preparatory program that allows students who previously graduated with a TKL, PKL/PSVE diploma, to acquire the necessary skills, concepts, and experiences for admittance into a degree program at USM or to be prepared for a college placement test elsewhere. The program entails GED tutor classes, preparatory courses in Math, English, Life Sciences and Languages, in addition, students participate in a job placement program. Once students successfully complete the program, they will earn their GED diploma and exemptions from Skills Courses if enrolled in an USM academic degree program.

The Pre-USM coordinator acknowledges people and institutions that offered assistance in making the skills courses successful: the St. Maarten Museum, the Daily Herald, Clara Reyes, Fernando Clarke, Jay Haviser, Tadzio Bervoets, Ras Mosera, Russel Bell and Mr. De Wit.

Those interested in applying to the program should consult with the admissions office at the University of St. Martin or email to