Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Teacher training institutions in Jamaica have been introducing, developing, and revamping undergraduate degree programs. There is, however, little evaluation of these efforts. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine The Mico University College's early childhood education undergraduate degree program by exploring the lived experiences of its graduates. The research questions elicited from the participants their views about how changes were being implemented in the program, and how they impacted the institution's development and improvement, how major policy shifts related to changes in national educational policies, and how together these shifts may impact future processes at The Mico and at similar institutions in Jamaica. The study used theoretical frameworks of organization development and performance improvement. In-depth semi-structured interviews were the main source of data collection and were supported by thick description, memoing, reflexive journaling, and document review. Data analysis methods consisted of coding interview transcripts and identifying common themes. The results of the study indicated that the participants commended many of the program's underlying policies and operational practices, but they identified some challenges and areas of weakness. This study may be used as a backdrop to program development and policy initiation at The Mico and at other institutions in Jamaica and the Caribbean as it encapsulates a wide breadth of the lived experiences of the participants and examines key components such as curricula, pedagogy, and assessment. By strengthening their program offerings, The Mico and other teacher training institutions have the potential to improve performance and to contribute to sustainable national development.