The University of Cape Coast organised an orientation programme on 16th -18th October 2019 for the first batch of postgraduate students admitted to pursue various MPhil and PhD degree programmes at the World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR). The ACECoR Project is hosted by the Centre for Coastal Management (CCM) at the School of Biological Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences (CANS). The three-day programme was arranged by ACECoR, to help bring the 2019/2020 academic year fresh mates to speed with important University guidelines and policies. About thirty-seven of the expected forty-five students for the 2019/2020 academic year, were present at the orientation programme.
Interlaid with interaction sessions, the orientation programme presented a unique opportunity for the students to have close first-contact with the Provost of CANS, the Director of ACECoR, the Dean of Students and a host of university management representatives.
Staff of the university present on the occasion include Prof. Moses Jojo Eghan (Provost, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences), Prof. Denis W. Aheto (Director of ACECoR), Dr. Noble Asare (Head of Department, Department of Fishries and Aquatic Sciences), Prof. Eugene K.M. Darteh (Dean of Students), Prof. Ernest Okorley (Dean, Graduate Studies) and Mr. Jeff T. Onyame (Director of Academic Affairs) amongst others.
The highlights of the first day featured brief messages from the university management and Director of ACECoR, and a presentation on an overview of Graduate Studies at UCC by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Students were introduced to Thesis Proposal Writing and the APA Referencing Style as well as ethics in research as part of guidelines for their success as Graduate Students.
The second day featured a presentation by the Senior Assistant Registrar of the Centre for International Education (CIE) on international education at UCC. The session gave insight on student diversity on campus and various collaborations between UCC and other universities abroad. The students were also introduced to students’ counselling services on campus. Other resources such as sporting facilities, religious services, library and language support service, disability service, health services were among issues discussed.
The final day of the programme centred on academic affairs. Dr. Noble Asare - Head of Department to which the students have been admitted to, gave a brief overview of the department and talked about the Dual Degree Programme opportunity (a collaboration between DFAS-UCC and the University of Rhode Island) available to students. The Academic Coordinator delivered a presentation on the modular curriculum adopted by ACECoR, and the Applied Research Coordinator elaborated on the Research Thematic Areas. The scholarship package and related financial matters were discussed, as well as the ACECoR Students’ Handbook and Sexual Harassment Policy.
The orientation programme ended with a tour around UCC campus for the students to familiarise with lecture venues, research laboratories, the main University library (Sam Jonah Library), DFAS/CCM Office, and the old and new sites of the UCC campus among others.