The Montserrat Community College Act 2003 provided for the establishment of the Montserrat Community College which began operation in September 2004. Prior to its establishment post-secondary education in Montserrat was provided in the sixth form of the Montserrat Secondary School, The Montserrat Technical College, The Glendon Hospital School of Nursing and the UWI School of Continuing Studies.
Since the early 1990’s it had been the desire of the Government of Montserrat to develop an integrated post-secondary institution in line with the overall development policy for post-secondary education across the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), thereby expanding post-secondary education and making it available to a wider cross section of the population.
In 1992 a Feasibility Study on the Restructuring of Post-secondary Education recommended that the Montserrat Technical College be upgraded to a Community College and as a result a task force was set up to develop a plan of action for the establishment of the Community College. Accommodation for the College was to include a building to be constructed under the EDF VII Project together with the Montserrat Technical College buildings and the Learning Resource Centre constructed under LOME III.
The volcanic activity, which commenced in 1995, disrupted the provision of post-secondary education. The Montserrat Technical College and the School of Nursing were closed. The ‘A’ level programme at the MSS ceased due, to a severe reduction in enrolment resulting from the exodus of Montserratians overseas. Plans for the establishment of the Montserrat Community College had therefore to be abandoned.
The establishment of the Montserrat Community College, however, became a priority once again in the post-eruption period, as the College was identified as essential in producing a work force capable of rebuilding the economy and contributing to the achievement of national development goals
Moreover, the expansion of post-secondary education was regarded as a key strategy in retaining and increasing the population and producing well qualified, skilled and competent individuals capable of responding to the demands of the global environment. The establishment of the Montserrat Community College therefore became a key issue in the Ministry of Education’s Five Year Education Development Plan and the Government of Montserrat’s Development Plans.
Construction of the buildings to house the Montserrat Community College, financed by the European Commission under the OECS/HRD/Tertiary Level Programme EDF VII, began in November, 2003. The first Board of Governors was appointed in January 2004. A Principal was appointed in October 2004, but with an interim head and full-time and part-time lecturers employed, the College commenced operations on September 6 2004, offering the Advanced Level Programme to thirty full- time students and a part-time programme in Office Administration and Principles of Business to thirty-four students. Unfortunately the constructed accommodation was not yet ready for occupation, so courses were offered on the Salem Primary School compound during the 2004/2005 academic year. This site had been set up with a Model Office (which served as the central office and staffroom) and a computer lab, under the OECS/GTZ TVET Project managed by the former Head of the Technical College.
The Montserrat Community College moved into its new premises which were officially opened on August 28, 2005. This move allowed the College to begin the implementation of strategies and activities that are supporting its continuing establishment in line with its vision and mission.