The beginning of a new academic year at the Akilah Institute is always an exciting time, with a new class joining the student body and new goals set by students and faculty alike. This year is momentous as it’s going to be the first time we are operating on a trimester (three months) system after having previously been on a block (one month at a time) system. The trimester system comes with great enthusiasm from faculty as it offers us a greater amount of time to engage students with projects and broad assignments, as well allowing students extended time to be creative with material. Our campus is full of activity at every level and the excitement in the air is palpable.
This year’s incoming first year students are a group of talented young women, excited to finally be on campus after going through a rigorous admissions process. Orientation week is well underway and faculty members are excited to welcome the new class of talented, ambitious women to campus. During new student orientation, faculty express their expectations for the new class, from reaching a high level of English both in speaking and reading, to taking on leadership roles on campus. The first year is an opportunity for students to develop a foundation for success at Akilah, but also an opportunity for the faculty to understand students’ learning styles.
Our faculty’s energy is also at a high after a rejuvenating staff retreat and summer break. During the school year, faculty are on the go implementing year-long departmental strategies with individual faculty instructional goals and instructional plans. During the first year of study, faculty will work with students to scale up their soft skills, English language abilities, and leadership abilities, all of which are core Akilah program components that prepare students for courses in their chosen Diploma programs. Once they have completed this first year of study with courses in business, accounting, mathematics, leadership, ICT and English, the bar is set high as the students being studying their respective majors: Information Systems, Entrepreneurship or Hospitality Management.
While the new students always bring a fresh excitement to campus, it is also very exciting for third year students to return to campus for the final stretch. After completing a summer of internships with a range of business organizations, they will get on campus to work on internship reports, presentations, and a number of community service projects, all of which are mandatory in the final year as a key component of student portfolio.
Each class brings its own unique excitement to campus, from wide-eyed first year students to seasoned third year students preparing to start their careers. But it is the combination of all three classes, faculty, and staff that make coming back to the Akilah campus in the fall such a vibrant and exciting time.
Mike Mulindwa Ssempa is a Mathematics Instructor at Akilah Institute for Women.