The Academic & Career Advisory, Counselling and Student Complaints (ACACSC) service centre is located on the first floor of the University House Building at the Fourah Bay College Campus, Mount Aureol. It is one of several directorates set up by the university management to provide services to students of the three constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone: Fourah Bay College (FBC), Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and College of medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS).
What we do:
ACACSC offers a range of free services and activities aimed at ensuring a supportive, inclusive and enabling environment for learning and growth:
- Academic Support
This service involves advising, tutoring, planning and developing skills to ensure that students are successful with their various courses of study. The directorate provides a wide variety of instructional support and guidance, educational services and college resources to students through collaborative efforts to help them meet their learning needs.
- Career Advisory
The directorate is committed to serving students in their career quests and developmental needs that may require professional counselling support by regularly organising seminars and workshops. These activities help guide students and graduates in selecting employment options and making choices in their various career paths, while acquiring employability skills for a wide range of opportunities.
- Counselling Service
Our counselling service provides systematic and creative psycho-social therapies and support that emphasize non-clinical practice while clinical related cases are referred to appropriate professionals; all in a bid to ensure quality service delivery in the provision of overall wellness for students.
- Capacity Building and Training
The programmes at ACACSC create an interactive and enabling environment for both students and lecturers to strengthen their aptitudes to develop, implement and be effective in their work. There has been increasing emphasis on online learning and this has necessitated the need for lecturers and students to acquire and develop basic IT skills at a minimum. In addition to this, there is always the need for better writing skills, soft skills, research techniques or other competencies that can enhance both lecturer and student performances. ACACSC regularly partners with other departments and external stakeholders to address capacity and training needs for students.
- Resource Centre
The resource hub at ACACSC provides computer services that have been mainly utilised and beneficial to students. This facility enables them to access electronic materials that do not necessarily form part of the physical resources of the centre. It also gives students access to an unlimited amount of online scholarly materials and the opportunity to research materials. The resource centre also holds some international university prospectuses and some reading materials for reference purposes.
- Employment Centre
The employment centre co-ordinates opportunities for internships, jobs and volunteering prospects for students and graduates of USL. Once registered with the centre, students have access to vacancy adverts and potential employers.
The directorate works in conjunction with colleges, directorates, departments and units at USL as well as with other external collaborating agencies to enhance the overall conducive climate to foster an environment where additional support can be provided by these entities.
The directorate also organises several activities and events during the academic year:
- Annual Health Awareness week
This is a whole week of interactive sessions between health workers and the university community. Students and staff participate in various health-related talks and presentations. They also benefit from different free medical consultations and tests. Some of our recent campaigns have focussed on HIV/AIDS, mental health and wellness, Epilepsy and non-communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health and drug use/abuse.
- Job trade fair and exhibition
This activity is a platform for students, graduates and the general public to interact with companies, organizations and institutions from diverse sectors. It focusses on sensitizing the public about the work done in various organizations as well as offering potential employment, internship and volunteering opportunities by using social media platforms.
- USL Sexual Harassment Campaign
This is a campaign to eradicate sexual harassment on all USL campuses. The directorate works with the student union leadership of the three constituent colleges to address sexual harassment. A few students from these colleges currently serve as ambassadors for the campaign.
- STEM Helpdesk (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Women)
This service was established to provide assistance to girls in the sciences in both secondary and tertiary institutions. School advocacy outreach programmes are regularly organised by the directorate during the course of the academic year.
- Entrepreneurship Seminars
These are periodic seminars over the course of the academic year, organized by ACACSC in collaboration with various stakeholders from different industries and organizations. Successful entrepreneurs are invited to share some of their experiences in banking, business, telecoms, finance, marketing, corporate affairs, governance and other entrepreneurship related issues. Participants at these events have the opportunity to ask questions related to business start-up opportunities and to interact with industry leaders and professionals, with some acquiring mentors and a strong network (networth).
- Human Resource Seminars
These workshops are organised help develop the relevant skills needed for job hunting and employment. Professionals from various industries provide mentorship and guidance with CV writing, job application cover letters, interview skills, confidence building, appearance and comportment, the responsible use of social media, building a strong network etc.
- Student Complaints
This is a confidential service for students to make complaints in-person or anonymously and register their dissatisfaction with any individual or office within the university community; ranging from bullying, soliciting, discrimination and sexual and gender based violence. The directorate works to ensure that there are strong mediations to conflicts and thorough investigations with strong outcomes. A toll-free short-code number 8500 for messages from all telephone services, for accessibility and the protection of identities is available.
- Holistic Wellbeing
The directorate organises social extra-curricular activities and events for students to relax and provide a fun and enjoyable atmosphere with music concerts, spoken word and live theatre. It also hosts the University of Sierra Leone Theatre Group which provides an environment for creativity and talent growth in the arts with music, dance, drama, comedy etc.
There are five staff members at ACACSC. Dr. Fatmatta Taqi is the Director and head of the directorate, Mrs. Francess J. Harding, Senior Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Abigail A. Jusu, Assistant, Mr. Raymond Kallon, IT Support and Mr. Momoh Sheriff, Office Assistant.
Dr. Fatmatta Bintu Taqi
Dr Fatmatta Taqi is the Director of ACACSC. She is also a lecturer in the Department of Language Studies and the Institute for Gender Research and Documentation (INGRADOC) at FBC, USL and is the University Marshal.
Dr. Taqi holds a PhD ( Social Sciences) and an M.A. in Women’s Studies from the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education and a B.A. Degree in English and French from FBC, USL. She is also a Martha Farrell Memorial Fellow of the 2020 cohort. Dr. Taqi has served in various statutory and ad-hoc committees at the university, as well as in multiple educational, leadership, religious and developmental boards and organisations.
She is the founder and pioneer of the University of Sierra Leone Theatre Group which works with students to transform themselves through creativity and to maximise their talents in creative arts.
Dr Taqi is the immediate past president of the renowned 50/50 Group, Sierra Leone’s foremost gender parity and women’s leadership advocacy institution..
Francess Jeneba Harding
Mrs. Francess Jeneba Harding joined the university in 2000 and has a Diploma Certificate and Bachelor’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Masters Degree in Governance and Leadership from Fourah Bay College and the Institute of Public Administration and Management at USL. She also holds a Diploma in Human Resource and Personnel Management from Cambridge International College (CIC).
Francess is currently the Senior Administrative Assistant at ACACSC and has served as secretary and senior secretary in various departments which include the Mechanical and Maintenance Engineering Department, the Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Office and the Office of the Senior Assistant Finance Office at FBC; the Pro-Chancellor’s Office, the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Principal, and the Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance Directorate, USL., She also worked briefly at the Registrar’s office at the West Africa Theological Seminary in Lagos, Nigeria
Abigail Amanda Jusu
Mrs Abigail Amanda Jusu is the Administrative Assistant at ACACSC. She joined the university in June 2019 and served in the Short Course and Consultancy Unit. Before that, she was an Administrative Officer at the national Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat.
Abigail holds several qualifications including a Masters in Public Administration, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Diploma in Computer Software Applications.
|Mr. Raymond Kallon is an IT Technician at ACACSC He joined the University of Sierra Leone in 2020.
Mr. Momoh Sheriff joined the University of Sierra Leone in 2016 and is currently an Office Assistant at ACACSC. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the Institute of Public Administration and Management.