News / THTI CEO Discusses Associate Degrees, Short Courses, Internships & More! (Tobago Updates Morning Show)

THTI CEO Discusses Associate Degrees, Short Courses, Internships & More! (Tobago Updates Morning Show)

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On Tuesday 14th February, 2023 Dr. Stephen Sheppard, Chief Executive Officer of the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (THTI) appeared on the Tobago Updates Morning Show to discuss the progress that THTI has made and the contributions being made towards the development of the hospitality and tourism industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Sheppard commenced the discussion by providing reassurance that THTI’s has been awarded Institutional Accreditation  by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) in 2014 and 2019 and has since been able to work on maintaining quality assurances with the aim of achieving accreditation for another five years. Dr. Sheppard also gave the assurance that all courses offered by THTI are sound due to the internal quality management process that the institution has in place. He concluded the first portion of the interview by affirming  “THTI is the only Tobago-owned Tobago-based Tobago-grown tertiary education institution.”

Dr. Sheppard also highlighted THTI’s 10-week PATH Programme (Preparing Adults for Transition to Higher Education). This programme is designed to offer students who have not attained all the required CXC subjects entry to apply into the Associate Degree programme. Dr. Sheppard hailed the PATH program as an opportunity to “get on with your life.” 

Dr. Sheppard went on to feature the Associate Degree programmes and took the opportunity to encourage persons to consider the opportunities provided by pursuing any of programmes even though Culinary Arts is very popular. He also highlighted the internship opportunities that the programme offers, making specific mention of students that are currently in Dubai, France and countries throughout the Caribbean. THTI has a memorandum of understanding with Johnson and Wales University in Florida, St. Thomas University, Business and Hotel Management School in Switzerland (BHMS) and Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (TOURISMUSSCHULEN SALZBURG), Germany. These agreements facilitate THTI’s associate degree graduates entry into their degree programmes. 

THTI’s also maintains strong connections with Tobago schools and staff visit them regularly and participate in their career fairs. The schools are also allowed to use the THTI kitchens for practicals.  

Dr. Sheppard also took the opportunity to present some upcoming courses in the Short Course Programme, such as the Art of Quick Cakes and Breads;  Bartending and Mixology; Commercial Sheep Meat Production; and Event Management which all starts in March, 2023.   

When asked to highlight the THTI’s success stories, Dr. Sheppard hailed three of Tobago’s culinary masters who teach and mentor students at the institution: celebrity Chef Arthur Patrick, Chef Vergiss Lovelace who specialises in Mediterranean style cuisine and Le Cordon Bleu Chef Sonia Phillip. 

In concluding his interview Dr. Sheppard reiterated THTI’s commitment to developing the human resource capacity of the tourism industry in Tobago when he  announced that the institution is currently working on becoming registered with the National Training Agency, with the intention of facilitating more skills training so that persons can gain employment such as becoming skilled housekeepers. THTI is working on offering Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR) programmes. Dr. Sheppard also spoke of the free Tobago Customer Service Training (TICST) that the THTI is currently offering in partnership with the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited to position Tobago as a tourist destination known around the world for providing exceptional customer service. For more information or to register for the TICST programme contact 313-0456 or email

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