A young Accountant, Jonathan Thomas-Shorter founded St. Monica’s College over 50 years ago. The original name was St. Monica’s Academy. He had another dream and that was to open a school in Ocho Rios. In 1981, he opened St. Monica’s College at 68 Main St, Ocho Rios, and St Ann. The same year another school opened its doors; this was the Fitz Henley Institute, Milford Rd, St Ann. The community welcomed both schools because there were no commercial schools in the area. The first principal appointed was Mr. Caroll Douglas. For the next seven years the school enjoyed very good attendance of both male and female students. During that period the school taught English Language, Business Mathematics, Commerce, Typewriting, Accounts, Office Procedures and Shorthand. The students were then able to sit the Pitman and R.S.A and G.C.E.Examinations.
Due to blindness Mr. Thomas-Shorter was unable travel on a weekly basis to Ocho Rios. His daughter Guadalope Thomas-Shorter is now the new Principal. In the 90’s the students were being prepared to sit the CXC examinations. The passes were very good. Miss Thomas-Shorter realized that an evening division was needed and hence the introduction of the Hotel Receptionist Course. After preparation these students they were sent to various hotels to do their work experience. Other courses were also introduced namely, Telephone Operating, Room Attendant Skills, Waiter/Waitress Skills, Night Auditing, Tour Guiding, Travel Agent Skills and Electronic Cashiering and hotel managements courses.
In the late 90’s the school realized that the students now needed computer skills along with their other skills. In 1997, St. Monica’s College Super course Package was created offering Receptionist, Telephone Operating, Office Procedures and Computer Studies for 3 months. Later, students could combine other courses with Computer Skills.
Short hotel courses were also offered in Kingston, Portland, and Montego Bay. We have trained thousands of students’ islandwide. We also now over CXC evening classes in English Language, Mathematics, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business and Office Procedures. We encourage our students to upgrade themselves in order to be more marketable. Our present location is 80A Main St, Ocho Rios, St. Ann (Chuck’s Plaza, Pass Kelly’s Tire Shop, beside Country Auto Electronics).
The mission of St.Monica’s College is to provide at its highest standard, educational opportunities for women and men of all ages and background, who are desirable of career advancement. This mission will be accomplished by:
1 Managing and administrating with professionalism and expertise.
2 Providing a solid curriculum.
3 Recruiting and retaining high quality staff.
4 Providing excellent learning and teaching facilities.
5 Applying knowledge to help individual lead productive lives.
6 Using technology to enhance teaching.
The college is committed to continuous contribution to local communities, society and to the economy by identifying training needs and responding to these needs. This will be done by providing programs, which prepare individuals of high caliber for immediate employment after graduation.