DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT AFFAIRS
Student Support Services
STUDENT CAREER CHOICES
Career Development - The University supports responsible decision making by prospects for career planning by being impartial in our discussions with candidates, sharing the potential benefits and challenges of the student's decision and referring candidates for Career Advising.
As students, career guidance at UCC continues with the Orientation to University Life module which includes presentations that map professions to programme offerings. The onboarding experience for high school graduates includes at least 10 sessions of personal and career development. Despite having a student population of over 95% working adults, UCC hosts career seminars and expos that are open to all students:
Resume and Cover Letter writing
Going on that Interview (The Interviewer Seminar)
UCC Professional conferences (External Presenter)
Quarterly Lecture series
The DSA informs students on vacancies and invites submission of résumés for job placement and internships and is building on the 2021 trajectory by engaging Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), as well as building professional profiles with IKONWORK.
As the method of recruitment pivots to digital engagements, a virtual career centre has been established to provide constant access to career development services to students who are either entering the job market for the first time or are up-skilling for promotion/change of career.
Orientation Programme - The first year of a student’s university life sets the tone for the rest of their academic studies. College studies may seem daunting therefore activities are organized to support students to independently access and use the services that will contribute to their success. Understanding the systems and processes, and resources including library, IT, Student Financial Services, Examinations etc. with which all students interface will contribute to student success at UCC. The Course UCC101- Orientation to University Life is designed to expose first-year students to information and resources that will assist them to independently access to and successfully complete their studies. Recordings of Orientation Sessions are available to students on the Moodle Platform.
FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION
Financial Aid - Educational benefits and services to students may be awarded as grants, bursaries, tuition credit, student exchange facility, discount, referral programme, sticker benefit, scholarship, waivers, work and study or tuition financing partnership arrangement and may be awarded as cash payouts. A new and a returning student may receive benefit from more than one financial promotion per programme.
Scholarship and Awards - In addition to UCC sponsored scholarships, external scholarship opportunities tenable at UCC exist from institutions such as Carreras, Digicel and VMBS. UCC makes every attempt to make all students aware of these opportunities by email and/ or by posting new opportunities on the UCC Website and placing posters from these companies on our bulletin boards across all campuses. To see scholarship recipient testimonials click here.
STUDENTS STAYING FOCUS
Academic Support and Advising - Academic advising is intended to support students in successfully completing their university courses. The academic advisor serves as a mentor who takes a proactive approach to academic intervention. The mandatory advisement system implemented in Fall 2019 is for students to be guided by an Academic Advisor (Faculty Member), a Programme Advisee (Programme Coordinators) and/or Campus Managers for a minimum twice per semester to address any concerns and for structured engagement.
Academic Policies and Procedure - To support you our students on this academic journey we have prepared this Students Handbook which will provide vital information concerning UCC’s policies and regulations, details information of all the programmes offered at UCC and much more . It contains general information, regulations, guidelines and academic procedures pertinent to each student. This Handbook informs about their binding roles and responsibilities as a UCC student. Additional academic policies are available on the UCC Website.
LEARNING AND GROWING
Learning Platforms - Tertiary studies involve navigating registration and course selection processes, getting acquainted with the Learning Management Systems (Aeorion and Moodle) and more often than not an approach to instruction that caters to mature and independent learners. Students will make psychological and emotional changes as they learn to assimilate, interpret and articulate their thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs. In a real sense, beginning a university programme requires a kind of ‘growing up’ regardless of how old/young the learner is and the level of educational experiences.
Studying and Growing - As a university student you will make some important changes. You will learn to become more of a self directed learner at UCC. This means that you will learn how to take more autonomy of your own learning, how to plan your time to read and study and how to use the guidance we will give to you to enhance your acquisition of knowledge and skills. These are important skills not only for success at university but for success at life in general.
Library and Information Resources - Library and Information Services are available through the Reference Service Desk and Online by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Library services include Library Database, Computer Area with Internet Access, General reading area; Printing services; Loan facilities and Library Information Sessions. Also, the Library has Databases such as: EBSCO, ProQuest, SAGE. Check out the Library's website. To view the library's website click here.
University Website - The University’s website is specially constructed for both new and returning students and will always have up-to-date information that are needed to help to navigate the journey through tertiary education. It is the buzz hub for the University that must be visited weekly.
Community Support - The Student Council supports an inclusive and community-based student environment through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram groups – a safe space to talk with each other. Links are available in the Help Desk Directory.
Telegram Group - This is the Student’s safe space to talk with each other and the application group link is available in the Help Desk Directory.
To ensure access and timely responses to students’ queries, the University has established Student Help Desks, allowing all students to access all administrative (academic advisement, registration, online and registry) services remotely. A Student Help Desk Directory is maintained and available the various platforms and on the UCC website. Further, student help desk emails have been created through which a ticket is automatically created and filtered to an Agent. The assigned agent corresponds with the student until the issue is resolved and then closed.
email@example.com for financial matters, such as: registration, financial statement balances or hold on accounts
firstname.lastname@example.org for student support and welfare matters
email@example.com for examination support during periods of timed assessments
firstname.lastname@example.org to provide assistance with students’ accounts (SMS and email), identification card
Departmental group emails and Customer Service Live Chat (ucc.edu.jm) are alternative and supporting roles to the established Students Help Desk. Click here to view the Student Help Desk Directory.
COUNSELLING AND SUPPORT
The University is committed to provide psychosocial support to ensure that students complete their programme of studies with the least distraction in the stipulated timeframe.
UCC Chaplain - A Counsellor /Chaplain is appointed to each Campus and arrangements are made to meet with students upon demand. The Counsellor/Chaplains also interface twice per semester in workshop presentations. At the Worthington Campus specifically, the counsellor is available for walk-ins on Mondays 10am-1pm. During Covid-19 counseling sessions are online.
- Tele-Counseling - The Department has started negotiations with a Tele-counseling agency to provide remote counseling services to students across all UCC campuses.
A STUDENT DEPARTMENT
Department of Student Affairs (DSA) - Communication of general information to UCC students is made primarily through the Department of Student Affairs on varying matters, while providing easy means for students to communicate to the institution.
This is the student’s Department that provides the resources that guarantee the success, happiness and well-being of each student. The DSA hosts an extensive orientation programme for new students to assist them with the transition into the UCC culture, Environmental Awareness, Community Involvement, Student Leadership, Co-Curricular Programmes and Career Development. The Department of Student Affairs conducts numerous student consultations through the use of Student Town Hall Meetings. Some meetings are designed as an avenue for students to have audience with the management of the University for their issues to be ventilated and addressed.
Student Holistic Welfare Seminars - The DSA offers career seminars, expos, workshops on Leadership, stress management, resume writing, and interview skills. These workshops are focused on leveraging academic and workforce knowledge into relevant career development and career management skills. We also facilitate personal and academic counselling sessions with trained professionals. Our University counsellors also partner with us in the provision of stress and anxiety management workshops.
Online Learning - The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean migrated all classes to online and ensures all students receive the same student support services as they progress through their respective courses. All students have premium access to Grammarly enabling our students to improve their English language competencies as well as academic writing skills, including plagiarism. Students who require additional tutorial support, they may utilize the tutoring services through Smarthinking for foundation, general and core courses.
Lab Resources - A fortified Computer Lab in the Worthington Campus and upgraded mini Computer Labs in the Regional Campus. An inviting Culinary Lab for students pursing Tourism and Hospitality Management Programme. As well as, the Worthington Campus has an Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre, a dynamic space to enrich simulation of the student community and innovators with entrepreneurial and new technology-driven ideas to create practical solutions that can contribute to Jamaica’s growth.
STUDENT EVERY NEEDS
Student with Special Needs - The University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all students can learn and work to their fullest potential. The University will, therefore, ensure a supportive environment for students with impairments or medical conditions by providing reasonable accommodations to students who have the proper supporting documentation. The University will make every effort to promote the independence of students with impairments and to identify the tools they will require to accomplish their educational and career goals. Upon admission the student with special needs will be required to complete the Disability Support Form.
Special Needs Environment - The Disabled are highly valued stakeholders within the UCC community, as such we have and continue to make provision for their needs/comfort reserved parking spaces and access ramps. We strictly prohibit parking in disabled parking and parking in a manner that blocks access ramps. Vehicles parked in violation of this rule may be towed at the owner’s expense.
Student Personal Accident and Insurance - This Insurance is designed to provide Personal Accident coverage for the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean students. The insurance policy covers students 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, anywhere, Worldwide - even when schools are on vacation.
Student Leadership - The Mission of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean Student Council is to:
Foster good relations between the administration, the students and the general public;
To enhance the growth of students through social activities for a better learning environment;
To maintain the awareness of the regulations of the institution;
To plan, organise and support co-curricular activities and to foster a physical social environment in which students can achieve their fullest potential in accordance with the educational and cultural standard of the College;
To represent the voice of ALL students at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean
Student Council - All Student Council Representatives are Ambassadors for the University, and should demonstrate appropriate behaviours at all times, both within and outside of the university in order to uphold the integrity of the University. Student Council Representatives are elected once per year, guided by the Student Council Election Procedure SOP. Training is provided each year for student all leaders.
The UCC programme presents a healthy option; participation in sports not only enhances physical and mental growth but also has numerous positive effects later in life.
- Mr. and Miss. UCC - Unbounded confidence, astute intelligence and sheer elegance was challenged and was defined by an extraordinary gentleman and a phenomenal woman, as the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean brought its first staging of the Mr. and Miss UCC. It was a ‘Battle Royale’ – a nail-biting contest – as thirteen (13) contestants vied for the coveted crowns and the title of Mr. and Miss UCC 2020/2021. To see our contestant winners click here.
- Hosted Sports Day - The Department of Student Affairs in collaboration with the Student Council hosted its two day Virtual Fun Day on May 23 and 24. 2021. It provided students with an opportunity to relax and engage in extracurricular activities before the stress of the Summer semester began. Competitions included:
- Speech Competition
- Quiz Competition
- Dance Off
- UCC Jingle Competition
- Virtual Games
LEARN AND PLAY
Clubs and Societies
The DSA collaborates with various clubs and societies that are dedicated to developing the quality student across all campuses. The UCC currently has five active clubs and societies that provide exposure to co- and extra-curricular activities that are designed to suit the varied tastes and interests. Clubs and Societies operate in accordance with established guidelines and as scheduled (currently all meetings are virtual).
Debate - The Debating Club participated in the Jamaica Debate Open (JDO)on January 6-7, 2022 and were listed in the Final Tab Rankings and were Debaters' Certificates
Information Technology - Team UCC designed Access to Health, a web application that would allow users to book appointments for COVID-19 testing and vaccination, and to download the result. For this, they were placed 1st in Jamaica in the Byte the Pi [Caribbean] Event Hackathon on July 24, 2021.
Alumni Association - The UCC Alumni Association (UCCAA) facilitates the valuable exchange of information, ideas and opinions among the UCC and its alumni. The UCCAA will develop, implement and maintain policies and programmes which support the educational aims of UCC, while also addressing the range of interests and needs of its alumni. In addition, the UCCAA will provide opportunities for the alumni and their affiliated organizations to give back to the Association.
Mentorship Programme - The UCC Alumni Association in partnership with the Department of Student Affairs has organised a mentorship program in which student mentees are matched with a volunteer mentor based on mutual professional interests. The goal of this program is to facilitate dialogue among students and UCC graduates or UCC Staff members in a supportive manner, where knowledge, skills and experiences are shared, and where networking relationships are cultivated. To be selected students must be registered in a full-time degree programme and must be in year 1 or 2 of the respective programme.