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SJSM Bonaire Campus - update

By Unknown - Thursday, March 7, 2013 13 Comments
Well, for sure i haven't heard much updates from the school itself but someone called the school and posted this on a forum under the name titanmd.

I thought it was a really useful post, gives prospective from SJSM, hopefully it will atleast save people the time from calling SJSM office.

First thing I did was speak with someone in the Chicago office and they explained the entire situation to me, which is why I know that many of the posters here have not called the school or spoken to anyone. I’m pretty sure most of the people posting the articles in here are puppet accounts for other schools, who have taken the rumors and are trying to cause a panic so that they can make a profit. (Check their post histories)

So, from my talk with the school and independent research the situation seems to be this (and I’ll try to break it down to make it easy for everyone to understand)
-In 2010 Bonaire changed from being a part of the Netherland Antilles to being a part of the Netherlands proper. Wikipedia refers to Bonaire as a “Special municipality within the country of the Netherlands”
-Because of this change, the NVAO became the accrediting agency for Bonaire. 
-A date of October 2013 was picked as the deadline to meet the requirements, some of which apparently take years to implement and see the results from. This is why they requested an extension.
-The extension was initially rejected but I was told that the school is sure that they will get the extension. Apparently there was initially some confusion on who could give the extension, the Dutch were saying ECFMG had to do it, but it is the NVAO themselves who must do this.
-The school is in meetings with the NVAO, described on Wikipedia as a "classical example of useless bureaucracy". I believe this is why there aren’t any straight answers about the situation yet. These things are slow.
-The Dutch-translated articles about the situation have a lot of major details incorrect. 
-The school brings in a lot of money to Bonaire, this stands on their side that they will get the extension. They also recently got Canadian OSAP loans for the Bonaire campus and seem to still be updating facilities. I don’t think they would be doing that if there was a risk they would be closing.
-Back Up Plan: the school informed all current students about the plan for if, which they said was very unlikely, the NVAO did not grant the extension. The campus is chartered so the school wouldn’t close, it would just operate as a satellite campus under the umbrella of the Anguilla campus. Everyone would be staying in Bonaire. Anguilla is also IMED listed so nothing would change. The person I spoke to said this was the “very, very, very unlikely last resort “. Other schools are facing this same issue, and none of the others have a second campus on another island so those students are really out of luck if their school’s don’t meet the requirements.
I’m really proud of my school and I plan on focusing on what’s most important, studying to achieve my goal of becoming a doctor. You can either trust that Saint James will take care of the rest or not, just make sure you understand the facts first.

13 comments to ''SJSM Bonaire Campus - update"

  1. Im nervous about what will happen to those of us who are in rotations now who did basic sciences in Bonaire. We technically took our courses at a school that is no more.

    If we are only going to operate under Anguilla will we still be able to do rotations? Anguilla was only approved a year ago. These are a ton of questions and what if's I have to worry about on top of school and the extra financial burdens I had to take to finance my education. I really would not have come to St James if I knew this is how I would be spending my third year. It seems like they were just denied again recently. Im not really sure how many changes they'll be able to make before Oct. It sounds like they want them to match up with Saba which we all know isnt possible in a few months. I keep seeing them reassuring incoming students about how they'll be fine . But what about the rest of us who have spent so much at this point? I really hope this gets resolved soon.

  2. SJSM has until October to make changes.

  3. @anonymous, yea thats what scares me too exact same thing

  4. I heard they got the extension!

  5. I hope so i have been hearing the same thing yet no one have confirmed it yet

  6. please keep us updated on the situation, as not many current students are aware of this. i just honestly got note of the dutch document today. Thanks for the post

  7. There is some inconsistent/incorrect info in your post. First of all the school is not updating, improving any of its facilities. I was a SJ student (I am not someone trying to recruit from another school) I had not even considered leaving until all these issues came about. Secondly the school does not own only rents the buildings on Bonaire so there is nothing keeping them there. Furthermore operating Bonaire as a satellite campus through Anguilla is not kosher with the ECFMG - several students called including myself. During my call to the ECFMG I was also told that the Dutch gov could pull the IMED listing at any point if the school is not meeting their criteria. Yes SJ has an Anguilla IMED and they could just transfer students there but seeing as I was still on the island and the learning environment had deteriorated significantly I was not willing to wait it out. Also Anguilla has only been open for approx 3 yrs, therefore does not meet that 10 yr requirement for OSAP and certain residency programs. I have also contacted the NVAO, they are firm in their requirements, they are not willing to budge. They also said NVAO accreditation is only one of many steps the school would have to meet in order to be approved by the Dutch government. At this point in time the school is stating the situation is resolved as they had someone within the Dutch government write a letter supporting their request for an extension of 5 yrs. But they did not yet get an extension for 5 yrs as they have been telling students. I would have never considered switching schools prior to all this happening in February but from that time until the time I left Bonaire I was consistently lied to by the school's administration or they would just ignore my calls/emails altogether. The school has also been stating that the school on St Eustatius got an extension, I have since met students from St. Eustatius who have informed me they are in the same situation as the SJ Bonaire campus. They are facing the Oct. deadline and did not get an extension. To each his own, if you choose to go to SJ Bonaire or to stay there that is up to you but I just wanted to clarify that the info presented above is not 100% accurate and that no one should 100% believe any thing that the administration at SJ tells you. Do your own research. They are a business, they are going to tell you whatever they can to keep you around and get your money, especially now when they have lost so many students. My class alone was 65 students, when I left there were only 15 students in my class staying for the next term. Contact the ECFMG and the NVAO yourself, do you own research before you make such a huge decision on weather or not to attend this campus.

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