The first HCT-Al Ain Women’s (AAW) Foundations Assembly of 2019 was held on January 21, to welcome new and returning students to the college.
The event took place in the presence of Dr. Maen Odeh, Dean of Academic Operations at the Al Ain campuses (AAC), as well as representatives from the Student Life, Academic Services and Careers Services departments. The event was attended by students from every level in Foundations along with the teachers of each section.
Mr. Stephen Aston, AAW Foundations Program Coordinator, greeted the students and wished them a Happy New Year and great success in their studies. Along with his assistant, SANAD Champion Ms. Sara Jan, he then outlined the academic and attendance requirements for the students to succeed in Foundations, and to reach their goal of studying in the Bachelor programs.
Focusing on the skill of reading, Stephen then announced the names of students who had excelled in this by achieving the highest scores in their Independent Learning X-Reading program during the last cycle. The eight prize winners were delighted to come up on stage to receive their certificates from Dr. Odeh.
“Our Level 3 teachers encouraged us to improve our English by using X-Reading,” commented Khaula Saeed Alsaedi, one of the prize winners.
“It was a challenge for me, but they suggested that I try to read more than what was required,” she added.
Another winner, Fatima Salem Alderei added: “First of all, I like to read books and I especially enjoy reading fiction but some of the X-Reading words were difficult to pronounce so I tried very hard.”
The students were then given a short reintroduction to college life by the Student Life team, led by Mrs. Sumaya Alshamsi and Ms. Khadijah Alghaithi, who provided useful information and advice for both the new and returning students.
After this, Ms. Salaf Fayyad, the Assistant Manager of Academic Services, briefly outlined the role of her department. Mr. Sabri Mansi, AAC Senior Counsellor, discussed with the students his different roles as a counsellor for both individual and group counselling, with particular emphasis on the confidentiality of the procedures. He also provided the students with information about success workshops and anxiety workshops, and outlined the academic accommodations for determined students, such as those with hearing, visual, or speech impairments and also physical, psychological or mental issues.
Finally, the students were addressed by a relatively new member of the AAW team, Ms. Theresa Findlay, Senior Specialist in Career Coaching, along with Ms. Mariam Al Azezzi, Assistant for Work Placement. They made a very informative presentation concerning how the Careers Services department can help the Foundations students as they begin to think about a career path, especially in terms of helping them to choose the right major.
Mr. Stephen Aston said the assembly was a good opportunity to explain the aims of the Foundations English program, while reaffirming HCT’s commitment to achieving academic success, and refocusing returning students after the winter break.
“I continue to be pleased with the attitude of this year’s Foundations students,” he said.
“In Foundations, we all look forward to helping them pass their English courses and achieve their goals of starting their Bachelor’s programs as soon as possible.”
Following the general Foundations assembly, the AAW Faculty of Business held its assembly of 2019 was held on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Present were Business students, the entire Business Division faculty and representatives from Academic Services, Student Life, and Career Services.
Dr. Khwaja Mansoor Khan, Chair of the Business Division opened the proceedings and introduced the first speaker, Dean of Academic Operations, Dr. Maen Odeh. Dr. Odeh greeted the students and spoke to them about the responsibilities of his position and of his focus on student success. He urged the students to make full use of the facilities and services offered at AAW and invited them to speak with him personally if they face any issues.
Dr. Mansoor, introduced his Program Chairs who then spoke to the assembly about the various programs, courses and majors offered by the Division. Each member of faculty was then invited to speak about their backgrounds, specialties and current courses they were teaching. Dr. Mansoor then gave the students a detailed overview of the advising process, degrees audit, how to read a transcript, and what to do if a student is on academic probation. Furthermore, he advised the students to come and speak with any member of the team at any time if they have any problems or concerns.
Douglas Henderson, Senior Manager of Academic Services, spoke next and gave the assembly insights on the Academic Services department and their focus on student success, both academic and personal. Mr. Sabri Mansi, Senior Counsellor and Ms. Theresa Findley, Career Consultant, also addressed the group and gave overviews of their responsibilities and the services offered to student by their departments. Three representatives from Student Life, Ms. Noura Al Shamsi, Ms. Sumaya Al Yahyaei and Ms. Khadija Salem, gave an overview of their services on offer and areas of support for students.
Overall, the message conveyed to the students during this two-hour assembly was the importance of student success and the availability of the various services and departments that stand ready to offer assistance to any student in need. The students were satisfied with all the presentations and welcomed the support offered by the different departments.
Dr. Mansoor said: “The event was an informative and interesting one, as was evident from the healthy turnout and participation from the illuminated minds of the students.”
For the Engineering Assembly, Dr. Aman Melake, Engineering Assistant Professor, greeted the Aeronautical Engineering Department students and thanked them for attendance. He also welcomed the new international students joining the department this semester and wished them a successful academic journey in AAW.
Dr. Aman presented the first topic “Working Together for the Advancement of Aviation in the UAE”. He discussed how the stakeholders, HCT’s ETS Faculty, the AAW college resources and the AET program, provide the aviation industry with a workforce for sustainable development.
The AET team was then introduced, comprising the Engineering faculty, Math and Science faculty, Lab instructors, and the Lab engineers.
Dr. Aman have also presented what HCT 2.0 Hybrid Syllabus is all about and why we need the Hybrid Learning Model and the six components of the Hybrid Learning Model. He explained why this model is crucial in bridging the gap between Engineering Science and Technology. Students get hands on experience on aircrafts and components and even get certified in courses which are on high demand in the aviation industry. These help fresh graduate from HCT AET to have a competitive advantage in securing employment in comparison to graduates from other institutions.
As part of the HCT 2.0 Hybrid Training Model, it involves also the Work Placement training partnership with Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Horizon International, Strata and AMMROC, and NAVCON heavy weight companies of the aviation industry in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.
Mr. Mohamad Ismail, Engineering Lecturer, said: “In line with the efforts of realizing the Hybrid Learning Model, that almost of all courses are accompanied by respective labs and that the AET has been progressively developing the Labs resources (equipment and facilities) from 8 in the year 2016 to 56 in 2019 respectively. A seven fold increase in equipment and facilities together.”
Mr. Mohamad Muflehi, Engineering Lecturer, said that: “The importance of the students meeting their advisors for academic advising, repeating courses, how to be able to read degree evaluation and always make sure the status of their degree evaluation. Another important information delivered to the students is also the HCT grading system, the GPA/CGPA Calculation and the study plan, the Academic standings, and the attendance policy.”
Mr. Douglas Henderson, Manager – Academic Services & Advising, explained the requirements of fulfilling the respective volunteering hours prescribed to be accomplished before graduation and the necessity of starting the volunteering hours early on so that the hours are accumulated gradually at every semester.
Mr. Sabri Mansi, Senior Counsellor, Student life, AAW/AAM, explained the services and support offered to students in issues of concern, resolve psychological distress, and maximize their potential at HCT. The services include personal and group counselling, crisis intervention, personal development workshops, time/stress management, anxiety control etc.
“Another important development in the HCT is the barrier-free learning environment to students of special needs,” he said.
He explained that HCT is committed to providing care and support to students with special needs in order to enhance their participation in academic activities and campus life.
Mr. Youssef Matter, Engineering Lab Assistant, explained the UAV Club and the Goals and Objectives and how students can participate in innovative extracurricular activities and stimulate students design skills in building unmanned aerial systems in line with their academic program.
Ms. Theresa Findlay, Senior Specialist Career Coaching explained how the students can understand themselves and develop a route-map to reach their career goals, she also explained that the Career Services in AAW should be thought of as a GPS to navigate their career path.
She also explained the steps in their career, namely discover the students what their strength & talent is, what they are passionate about, career planning and defining direction and work experience as well as the services offered by career coaching and guidance through Career Events and Workshops.
To welcome the students for the new semester, CIS division organized the CIS student’s assembly on January 27, 2019, which was attended by around 100 students. For the maximum engagement and participation of the students, an online tool called Nearpod was used.
The event was inaugurated by the welcome address of Executive Director Al Ain Campuses, Ms Hamsa Saleh. She emphasized on the importance of regular attendance and wished the students success in their academic pursuits.
Ms. Sumaiya and Ms. Khadija representing Student Services encouraged the students to avail the facilities and resources available on campus. They also guided students about how Student Services can support them during their studentship at AAW.
Ms. Sulaf from Academic Services explained the HCT attendance policy and the Course work assessment make-up procedure to the student.
Chair CIS Division, Dr. Yasir shared information with regards to the CIS majors, faculty at AAW and guided students about using tools like Degree Audit to keep track their graduation requirements. The CIS Program Coordinator, Ms. Ban Al Omar, briefly discussed the grades and Academic standings. She also explained to the students about understanding their transcript.
Throughout the presentation, the students were asked questions about their understanding of different concepts and very useful feedback is received. Moreover, the students voted for Dr. Azmi Alazzam as their favorite teacher.
At the end, CIS Chair thanked everyone for attending the assembly and motivated them to participate in many extracurricular activities on campus and nationally as this adds a lot to their learning.
The AAW Education Faculty held their assembly ont January 31, where all education students gathered to meet their teachers, and welcome Ms. Antoinette Wiseman, recently joined from Sharjah Women’s campus.
The students were told about the services available for their support by Counsellor, Sabri Mansi, Academic Services by Sulaf Fayyad, and the range of careers advice available by Theresa Findley. Final-year students were congratulated on their achievements in the program but reminded they still have much work to do.
New students were welcomed to the program, and second and third year students were reminded that they should avail themselves of opportunities in the college for developing their English and, in particular, their IELTS skills so that they can move seamlessly into Year 4.