Continuing and Community Education at USP
In line with the university mission, particularly where it states
“…and the provision of appropriate levels of education and training responsive to the well-being and needs of the communities of the South Pacific” USP Mission Statement, 1998
and the Strategic Plan Teaching Goal 1.5 (2006):
“1.5 Expand the provision of relevant continuing education and community outreach activities” ,
Continuing and Community Education (CCE) in Samoa is diverse, targeting a wide range of people in the effort to reach all levels.
What is Continuing and Community Education?
This is a programme of educational activities that provide or extend educational opportunities beyond the formal credit programmes of the university. That is,
- It is the university outreach – taking the opportunities to the people
- It is adult learning, a second chance – for personal enhancement and or developing new skills
- Activities are mostly short term – from two weeks to 3 semesters
- The activities are delivered through either face-to-Face (FtF) or distance and flexible learning (DFL) or a mixture of the two modes of teaching/learning
What Continuing and Community Education programmes are offered in Samoa?
Adult lifelong learning activities include:
- vocational training and personal enhancement
Programmes range from creative writing and dancing, floral art, tie and dye fabric painting, elei and screen-printing, computer awareness classes, and music classes. Participants in these short-term workshop sessions are able to add to their personal knowledge and repertoire, and have also made use of the skills learned, for income-generating activities. Women are the main participants and a large number have gained skills whaich have improved their quality of life, provided them with more choices such as income generating activities. This has contributed to the improvement of the socioeconomic situation of many families.
Click here to download Continuing and Community Education Brochure
Here are two examples:
Ruta: A graduate and retired university lecturer actively involved in community voluntary work in NGOs, does consultancies from time to time. She enrolled in a floral art workshop, for personal enhancement.
Ruta devotes spare time to her garden around her home and has applied her knowledge from the workshop to the many arrangements inside her home.
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Maina: A housewife who attended one of the early floral art workshops in the 80s, the only training she had received. Maina then set up a floral art business that is sustainable through her personal garden around her home. Additional flowers and foliage are obtained from other gardeners. Maina is dedicated to her small business and her garden is a testimony to her commitment.
The creative writing group that was active during the 80s and early 90s included well known Samoan writers Sano Malifa, Ruperake Petaia, Noumea Simi, and Momoe von Reiche. The activities of this group led to publications that have provided the local writers with outlets of their work. Similarly, creative dancing and music are other areas somewhat untapped and offer potential for further development. The first USP BA in Expressive Arts, Alan Alo, commenced his degree while he was a staff member at the USP Samoa Centre. During Alan’s time at the Centre, he was instrumental in staging a number of drama and music productions.
- professional upgrading : CCE programmes that offer professional upgrading include
Introductory Paravet course: 1 semester (16 weeks); ftf and dfl mixed mode
paravet training of those working with livestock - included government workers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Introductory course providing basic theory and practices on Pacific livestock (cattle, pigs, goats, horses, chicken). Practical hands-on exercises and assignments, practical and theory exams.
A local tutor assists in conducting the compulsory practical work.
Nutrition and Physical Activity for Healthy Living program: 3 semesters, mainly ftf but some dfl
Targets health workers, community workers, teachers, sports workers.
3 courses providing basic theory and practices about healthy living through good nutrition practices and appropriate physical activity. Practical hands-on exercises and assignments and an end-of-course exam. Local tutor supported by CDs of physical activity
Schools Library Assistant course: 1 semester. ftf mode.
Similar to the paravet course but this one has 4 weeks of field work attached to schools for hands-on practical applications and uses competencies assessment throughout. Also has an end-of-course exam.
IT training of Health workers
Short term training on basic Information Technology literacy and application specifically for health workers.
Health personnel trained on Microsoft Office programmes of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. As well, trainees learnt how to use the Internet especially for email and research for further information.
Preschool teachers certificate: 3 semesters, mainly dfl supported by local and satellite tutorials.
Targets workers in preschools.
3 courses providing basic theory and practices about early childhood education. Practical hands-on exercises that help students create resources for their classes. Assessment is by assignments and an end-of-course exam.
Disability studies: 3 semesters, mainly dfl supported by local and satellite tutorials.
Targets those working with the special needs individuals whether at home or in institutions.
3 courses providing basic theory and practices about special needs. Practical hands-on exercises that help students cater to their special responsibilities. Assessment is by assignments and an end-of-course exam.
A programme involving tutorials after school, at the secondary school level for
- year 12 (Samoa School Certificate) and
- year 13 (Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate)
Nine subject areas are offered: Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, and Physics.
Students in this programme are from secondary schools in the Apia urban area.
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Teachers are carefully recruited to ensure quality provision of learning support. As well, to provide a conducive environment for learning, once enrolments reach 15 for a subject, the duration of the class is extended to 1.5 hours. Further, once the roll reaches 30, the class is split into two groups.
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Classes are held from 3.00pm until 5.30pm during weekdays and on Saturdays from 8.30am until 3.00pm.
There are 3 sessions each year, corresponding to the 3 terms of the government schools calendar. Term 3 classes are 2 hours each, and the over 5 weeks and ensures classes end before schools annual exams and the Year 12 and 13 external exams.
Fees are $50ST per session of 10weeks.
To enroll: Pick up the enrolment form from the CCE office.
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Other academic activities e.g. public seminars, public lectures, research, publications, and consultancies.
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(i) Public lectures and seminars
Visits by academic staff from other campuses occur from time to time. These provide opportunities for public lectures such as that by Dr Tracy Berno of the Department of Tourism. This lecture was also an opportunity for collaboration between the Centre and Samoa Polytechnic which offers a Hospitality training programme, and the Samoa Tourism Authority. The sharing of costs enabled each of the three to derive some benefit at minimal costs. The lecture focused on international tourism and what it meant for Samoa.
Alafua campus has commenced its public lecture series for 2007 and in April, Dr Irene Taafaki, Campus Director of Marshall Islands Campus delivered a presentation on Traditional Medicine in Marshall Islands that informed about the research and publication on this topic.
Impact: Continuing and community education offered through public lectures provided an avenue for the community to increase their awareness of global events and trends, bringing an international perspective to local dimensions.
(ii) Research and Publications
In addition to the programmes and activities described above, the Campus is actively involved in consultancies, research and publications which are other ways of community outreach.
Research projects have resulted in Publications which are avenues of disseminating the findings of research work. Examples are:
- Samoa Preschool Standards
- Samoa College Golden Jubilee: 50 years of service to Samoa
- The 2001 Samoa General Elections (March 2006).
- Creating Opportunity, Realising Potential
Continuing and Community Education in Samoa has great potential and future development will make use of the programmes in place as well as developing new programmes to respond to the needs of the country. Sports, Art and culture are some of those areas. Then again, Alafua campus is ready to develop new programmes cater to new demands.