The idea of having counselling services in the University of Cape Coast dates back from the 1970s. In 1976, the Hall Counselling System was instituted, after a recommendation by the Committee of Halls. Some fellows of each Hall were appointed by the Vice-Chancellor as “Hall Counsellors” while some academic staff were appointed as “Academic Counsellors” to help students with their personal and academic difficulties respectively.
A 1991 study by Duku revealed that the Hall Counselling System was not effective. According to the study the students were not satisfied with the services rendered by their hall counsellors. Besides, the counsellors were not available when they were most needed. Another study by Irvin, Essuman and Montford (1996) also revealed that 94% of the respondents never met their counsellors or met them either casually or for entertainment purposes only. Only 6% actually met their counsellors. This study confirmed Duku’s study that the Counselling System had not been effective for counselling purposes. The 1996 study also indicated the desire of the students to have a counselling centre run on professional basis.
Subsequently, a proposal for the establishment of a counselling centre was submitted to the university authorities in February 1996. Approval was soon given for the setting up of a Counselling Centre. From August 1996 up to May 1997 six workshops were run on Career Services for counsellors in three tertiary institutions, namely University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and University of Ghana, Legon. These career workshops stimulated the establishment of the UCC Centre. By April 1997 a place had been allocated for the Centre and in November 1997, an Acting Director was appointed to administer the centre.
The Counselling Centre was established to:
The centre has:
The centre runs the following services:
The centre renders counselling services in the following areas.
The centre provides psychological testing services for students, staff and their families, to aid their career, academic pursuit and personality improvement.
The Centre in collaboration with the Department of Educational Foundations runs two Sandwich Post-graduate programmes namely M.A and M.Ed in Guidance and Counselling. The Centre also organizes counseling practicum for 2nd year MA/ MED/M.Phil students. Graduate students assist in organising talks, seminars and career conferences and other counselling activities appropriate for their practicum.
The Centre through the Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund (TALIF) Project has established a Study Clinic. A schedule of professional counsellors and senior research assistants keep the clinic active.
The Centre through the TALIF Project has established an HIV/AIDS resource unit at the Counselling Centre and a Voluntary Counselling and Testing Unit at the University Hospital. In collaboration with the hospital staff counselling services are offered at the VCT Unit. A schedule of professional counsellors and senior research assistants run the clinic.
The Centre in collaboration with Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) runs a Life Planning Skills (LPS) programme dubbed “Young and Wise” for students. Students who participate in the programme are awarded certificates by the Counselling Centre and PPAG. The training is offered to the youth to equip them to: