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In recent times, it is common to chance upon all forms of adverts either in the print media (newspapers and magazines, etc.) or through the electronic media (television, radio and the Internet) that are pregnant with information on short professional courses organised by various institutions of learning. But what is the essence of short professional development courses or the impact of such programmes on prospective students or applicants?
Professional development is basically the orientation one acquires either academically or by training to improve one’s skills or ability in a given profession or field. It is also the proficiency one receives through training to enhance an existing profession or career. On the other hand, it is the skills and knowledge an employee gains to optimise his/her personal development and job growth.
This includes learning opportunities, such as college degrees and coursework, or attending conferences or training sessions. For instance, various types of people engage or enroll in professional development training programmes, including teachers, lawyers, healthcare professionals, accountants and engineers, etc. They are, therefore, willing to undergo the necessary training to achieve these goals. Of course, these individuals often have a desire for career longevity and personal growth. In summary therefore, professional development is an extensive and collaborative process one goes through to improve skills.
Here, upon completion of such training, an evaluation of progress is usually performed to assess the student or the applicant. These and many definitions give credence to the fact that the professional development programme is an additional acquisition of knowledge or value addition to improve one’s career or profession.
Professional development is critical to some specialised fields or professions, and this notwithstanding adds some value to skills and expertise.
Professional Development Facilitators
First of all, if my wife approached me for financial support to enroll or attend a short professional development course, to improve on her vocation or career, the first thing that comes into mind is whether she knows much about the course facilitators of the programme. Because I believe it is very crucial to know the team of facilitators invited to handle a course. It is important to have background information about a course facilitator or resource person before enrolling into such a programme.
It is necessary for an applicant to be able to place the end product of such a professional development course. This is why discerning prospective applicants or students planning to participate in a course endeavour to dig into the background of course facilitators.
For well-established Universities, such as the University of Ghana, GIMPA or the Ghana Law School, it is likely that many students enroll without bothering very much about who will handle what course. However, for relatively newer institutions, being able to present a good line-up of highly qualified instructors is an important ingredient in making the institution attractive.
It is against this backdrop that I became impressed recently when I was acquainted with the caliber of the course facilitators and some of the teaching staff of one of the newer University Colleges in Ghana.
Dominion University College Professional Development Courses
Being abreast with the current trends on the job market and personal development needs of professionals, career people and students alike, the Dominion University College (DUC) Centre for Professional Development and Consultancy has assembled a highly reputable team of facilitators with rich academic and professional experience to take students through various subjects and topics. These topics include Risk Management & Business Performance, Financial & Managerial Accounting for Non-Financial Managers, Advanced Leadership for Pastors & Church Leaders, Effective Management Skills, Effective Skills for Winning & Retaining Customers, and Strategic Marketing, among other courses.
On the DUC bill is Mr. Edward Odame Larbi-Siaw, an Economist, Lawyer and Chartered Management Accountant and a Tax Policy expert. He holds a BSc in Economics and LLB Degrees from the University of Ghana, and a BL from Ghana School of Law. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK). Mr. Larbi-Siaw has worked extensively and has gained considerably great amount of experience in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda as a tax expert and consultant. He is ready to impart his rich knowledge and skills to prospective students. Another expert is Prof. Sammy Bonsu.
He is a visiting professor of marketing at GIMPA and a consultant to the Dominion University College. Before coming to Ghana, Prof. Bonsu was the Director of the PhD Program in Marketing at the Schulich School of Business, York University in Canada. He holds a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island in the United States and an MBA from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. Prof. Bonsu brings a wealth of experience in marketing and consumer services management from both the public and private sectors.
Mr. John-Peter Amewu is an Energy Policy Analyst, and another example of the brilliant minds DUC is assembling. He holds a postgraduate degree in Executive Masters in Business Administration from the University of Dundee, Scotland. He graduated from the University of Ghana with an MBA, Finance option. Mr. Amewu is very conversant with Project Management tools such as Microsoft project and Primavera software for Oil and Gas Projects, and he is expected to provide students with the needed skills and expertise in this sector. Mr. Kojo Anyane-Yeboa is a freelance management consultant and also an e-Government strategist.
He holds an MBA (Finance and Banking) degree from Rushmore University, MSc Computer Science degree from Birkbeck College of the University of London, United Kingdom and a BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Ghana.
He obtained a Chief Information Officer Certificate from the National University of Singapore, E-Government and E-Business Strategies certificates from the Asian Development Bank Institute, and IT Infrastructure Development Policies Certificate from the Information and Communications University of Seoul, South Korea. Mr. Anyane-Yeboa is well-read and an informed personality with the tool to enrich students academically. Students in no doubt will benefit greatly from his tuition.
Mr. Kankson Kpentey is yet another fine facilitator. He is a consultant in Supply Chain Management, Procurement & Logistics. Mr. Kpentey holds an
MSc in Supply Chain Management from Coventry University in the UK, and BSc (Finance & Banking) from the Central University College. He has the ability to empower students with the necessary tool to review large volumes of information, identify and analyse issues, assess risk and provide strategic and operational direction. Dr. Stephen Owusu-Ansah is another facilitator. Currently, he is an associate professor of accountancy at the University of Illinois in Springfield, United States.
Previously, he held professorial positions at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia, and the University of Texas-Pan American, United States. He holds a PhD degree in accounting from Middlesex University, UK, MSc in Project Analysis, Finance and Investment from the University of York, UK and a BSc. degree in accounting from the University of Ghana.
Dr. Owusu-Ansah is also a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and a Certified Business Manager (CBM), both from the U.S.A. He hopes to impart knowledge to students in areas such as Financial Accounting, International Accounting and Internal Auditing. Bishop James Saah is a prolific speaker, writer and a Bible teacher, and he authored several books, including “The Finger of God”. Bishop Saah holds a Masters degree in Governance and Leadership from GIMPA, an Associate of Arts degree and a Diploma in Journalism and Communication from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. He is expected to enlighten the career path of prospective applicants and students, especially in helping them to drink deep the DUC motto of “training ethical leaders for global influence”.
With men and women with such rich backgrounds and experience at the DUC, it is believed that prospective applicants and students will really benefit and have great value for their money as they journey through the DUC Professional Development class.
BY EDEM WORLANYO