Department of Student Affairs
DR. SOPHIA TERRELONGE
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT AFFAIRS
I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all from the Department of Student Affairs (DSA).
I am proud to be a part of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) family. The UCC is a very important institution of higher education. We are registered and recognized as a University College by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ). The UCC has made its mark in the annals of history, as we are the first private tertiary institution to be assigned that status. The UCC has also been awarded the international institutional accreditation, in the category of Premier Accreditation Status, by the UK-based Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC). These honourable designations that have been bestowed upon our institution are a testament to the quality of our academic, operational and service capacities.
As the Director of the DSA, I wish to pledge our continued efforts to serve our valued students through the provision of vital co-curricular activities and other support services. We seek to provide the resources that guarantee the success, happiness and well-being of each remarkable UCC student. The DSA hosts an extensive orientation programme for our new students to assist them with the transition into the UCC culture of Environmental Awareness, Community Involvement, Student Leadership, Co-Curricular Programmes and Career Development. Our orientation programme features face-to-face contact hours, where students bond together while learning about our institution and the resources (academic, co-curricular and support services) that are available to ensure their success. The UCC’s orientation programme is unique, as our students complete an online assessment to confirm the successful transmission of our values, and they also conduct a 5-hour outreach programme designed to align with our culture of community service.
Our Career Development Programme (CDP) provides our students with the necessary tools for introspection and the creation of unique career paths. The CDP offers career seminars, expos and workshops, which are focused on leveraging academic and workforce knowledge into relevant career development and career management skills.
The DSA also provides chaplaincy services for the holistic well-being of our students. Our Chaplain is a trained counsellor, who is available to meet each student in a confidential setting by appointment. The appointments to meet with our Chaplain are done through the DSA. We also provide academic support services in a number of areas. Students with low GPAs are referred to our Chaplain for guidance in understanding the root cause(s) and identifying the means to guarantee each student’s academic success. The DSA also partners with our Chaplain to provide stress and anxiety management presentations for our students. In addition, any member of the DSA is also available for the needed guidance and advice of any UCC student.
Our Leadership Programme offers a series of student leaders’ workshops. These activities aim to assist our students in unearthing their capacity to inspire and lead others by example. This programme encourages our students to have a thorough understanding of leadership challenges, and to also hone the necessary skills to manage the dynamics of interpersonal relationships within the society.
The Student Council plays a vital role within the UCC. Our student governance unit ensures that our students have an influence in the determination and dissemination of policies within our institution. We rely on our Student Council to collect and present valuable student feedback on all the dimensions of the academic and administrative sectors of the UCC. In a bid to further support this reporting process, the Student Council will be extended to include student representatives from the various academic departments. The DSA will continue to document and present these views and recommendations from the student body to the Executive Arm of the UCC.
It is essential to be a well-rounded individual. All work and no play, makes one quite dull! Our DSA oversees a sports programme which provides physical recreational activities. We currently have football, track and field, and table tennis teams and we also participate in inter-collegiate football. The DSA hosts an annual Sports Day, which facilitates the necessary recreation and bonding opportunities for the UCC family. We currently have five clubs and societies at the UCC: The Information Technology Club, Circle-K, Dance Club, Tourism Club and the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF). We encourage you to join one or more of these clubs and societies in order to get to know more of your peers, as well as engage in valuable networking and community service activities. Don’t see a club that interests you? Well, what are your hobbies? What are your interests? Is it a love of languages? Then please do find at least nine other students who identify with your interest and/or hobby. What’s the next step? Contact us in the Department of Student Affairs with the details of your proposed club and a list of potential club members and we will work alongside you to formally establish your club at the UCC.
It is important to recognize excellence in order to foster an environment of innovation and success. The DSA hosts an annual Student Awards ceremony to confer the deserved honours upon our outstanding UCC students from our many campuses.
The DSA is very excited at the prospect of creating our UCC Alumni Association. This association will allow us to partner with our former students and their current organizations to create further growth and development within our institution. The Alumni is slated to support our mentorship programme, which is designed to reinforce the academic curriculum, while providing the opportunities for gaining management capabilities in a variety of sectors. This mentorship programme will also give our UCC students valuable networking opportunities within corporate Jamaica.
There are many exciting and fulfilling initiatives within the DSA. I issue an invitation to our students, faculty, staff, stakeholders, and alumni to partner with us in making the UCC an even more prominent and innovative institution. Once again, I welcome you all to the Department of Student Affairs at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean.