Director of Quality Assurance – Dr. Lincoln Phipps

Lincoln PhippsDr. Lincoln Phipps is Principal Lecturer and the Quality Assurance Director at Shortwood Teachers’ College. He joined the academic staff in September 1992 as a lecturer in the Geography, History and Social Studies Department. He became a member of the senior staff in 2000 with special responsibility for the College’s environmental programme. After completing his doctoral studies in 2009 he was promoted to the office of Quality Assurance.

Dr. Phipps acquired his formal training in Teacher Education from Mico Teachers’ College, now the Mico University. He pursued undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of the West Indies (Mona) and obtained the Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and the Social Sciences, and the Masters of Education Degree in School Administration. In 2007, he was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Leicester, England, where he pursued studies in Educational Leadership and Management. His dissertation was entitled, “navigating from the middle: enabling middle leaders in secondary schools in Jamaica.”

Dr. Phipps has been an educator for over 30 years, serving both at the secondary and tertiary levels. As a teacher educator, he has a passion for the training and development of education practitioners who are the leaders and managers in their institutions. He has several years experience in the training of middle managers and those aspiring to become leaders and administrators in both primary and secondary schools. He has worked extensively with the Ministry of Education in developing the technical and professional competencies of education practitioners at all levels across the island, including classroom teachers, principals and education officers.

The Office of Quality Assurance is the arm of the College Senior Management that is responsible to students, staff, and stakeholders for ensuring that the quality of our graduates meet local, regional and international standards and as such, they are deemed fit for their purpose. Striving to remain a premier training institution requires that all stakeholders become sufficiently aware and committed to the task of building a culture of quality.

In assuring quality, a holistic approach is adopted which includes attending to both academic concerns and service deliveries. However, special emphasis is placed on academic quality, which is the development and use of appropriate teaching, learning and assessment mechanisms for staff and students. The Quality Assurance office is cognizant of the need to develop a Quality Management System (QMS), which encompasses the policy directives and operational guidelines associated with the effective functioning of all departments and systems across the College. The development of a QMS is guided by inputs from several stakeholders including the quality assurance arm of the Teachers’ Colleges of Jamaica (TCJ), the University of the West Indies-Mona, (UWI), the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE) and the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ).

The internal operations of the Quality Assurance Office, is guided by the Quality Assurance Board (QAB) which operates in an advisory capacity. The Quality Assurance Board is the ‘watch dog for quality’ in the College. The Board consists of senior representatives from all departments (academic, ancillary and administrative). Its meetings provide a forum for staff across all departments to share ideas on issues affecting quality in their departments with a view of finding practical solutions.

The QA office is involved in collecting responses from both staff and students on the quality of service received through Customer Satisfaction Surveys and student exit surveys. Additionally, student voices are captured through course evaluations which are conducted at the end of each semester. Information from these surveys, along with lecturers’ course reports and Departments’ Annual Reviews are used to inform lecturers, heads of departments and senior management in planning. A minimum customer service standards for all departments and offices across the college has now been established to provide consistently high quality service across the college.

The development of appropriate Job Descriptions (JB) and Staff Appraisal instruments is crucial to the effective functioning of each member of staff. Working with the Human Resources Department, job descriptions and staff appraisal instruments are updated to reflect the changes in work force demands. Appropriate JBs have been developed for all categories of faculty. In addition, the Lecturer’s Professional Engagement Profile has also been developed. This instrument measures the lecturer’s involvement in non- academic areas, for example, attendance at meetings and conferences. A staff awards and incentive programme also exists to recognise the dedication and commitment of all categories of staff.

The QA office, working along with the Vice Principal of Academic Affairs Office, is responsible for driving the Institutional accreditation and external auditing process. To date, the College has been audited three times.