Academic structure of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro
The Academic structure of the Polytechnic includes: the school system, the semester system, programme of study and mode of instruction and assessment, objectives of unit course system, definitions and terminologies in unit course system, registration for courses, assessment of performance and grading of courses.
The School System
For Administrative convenience and to facilitate co-operation among staff and students in related disciplines, departments have been grouped into schools. Each school is headed by a Dean. The following are the schools now in existence as well as departments in each school.
The Semester System
The Polytechnic’s academic calendar is based on the semester system. There are two semesters in a session. The first semester begins in September/October while the second semester begins about March and ends in June/July.
Programme of Study and Mode of Instruction and Assessment
The programme of study is made up of a two-tier system leading to the award of National Diploma (ND) and the Higher National Diploma (HND). A four-month SIWES period between the first and the second year of the ND programme where applicable. A minimum of one calendar year post-ND work experience is normally a prerequisite for admission into the HND programme for HND applicants with not less than Lower Credit result.
The Mode of instruction and assessment is by Unit Course System (UCS)
This is a credit system which is based on the premise that fields of knowledge can be broken down into small components called courses or modules which are arranged according to prescriptions of the authorities concerned (The Polytechnic and the National Board for Technical Education). The system is a form of curriculum organization whereby the syllabus of the subject in a programme is divided into courses, in prescribed sections of teaching and study, each of which is separately examined or assessed. As a course is a body of knowledge and skills which may be utilized on its own, it will be easier to know when students are ready for Student Industrial Attachment for such attachment to be meaningful to them.
Objective of Unit Course System
The objectives of the Unit Course System are:
a. To provide greater flexibility within a wider variety of combination of approved courses in order to accommodate:
i. varying student’s pre-entry backgrounds through the provision of special remedial courses or bridge courses;
ii. varying student’s interest and occupational objectives by means of allowing the selection of options in the advanced stages of a programme of study as well as allowing the selection within the ancillary courses; and
iii. transfer from one school or type of programme to another without loss or penalty (including transfer from part-time programme to full-time programme and vice-versa).
b. To provide for students’ even progress by means of:
i. individual progression at rates reasonably adjusted to individual abilities, as all students are not required to take the same number of courses at the same time;
ii. avoidance of total repetition of instructional components earlier assessed as passed in order to improve performance in the instructional component earlier assessed as failed. A majority of the courses are to be self contained so as to have the specification of a minimum number of pre-requisites in the instructional programme structured. Not more than a third of the first year work of a two-year programme should be pre-requisites for the second year work.
iii. consistency in work-loads by enabling more precise specification of different required components (i.e. core courses and ancillary courses) of various instructional programmes;
iv. inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary collaboration, curriculum planning and formulation and continual review which also minimizes duplication;
v. facilitating the introduction of new instructional programmes without necessarily creating new departments; and
vi. attracting very busy practising professionals to the classrooms to update programmes and teach on part-time basis. It is easier for such professionals to take up part-time teaching for one semester in a session than a whole session.
Definitions and Terminologies in the Unit Course System
a. Academic Session
An Academic session consists of two semesters.
b. Academic Semester
Each semester shall consist of a period of about 15 weeks of instruction and examinations.
c. Core Courses
Core courses are specified courses that are fundamental to a particular programme of study.
d. Elective Core Courses
These are core courses offered within the department for the student’s specialization on his/her area of interest, at the HND level e.g. a student of Civil Engineering may specialize in Structures or Transportation, etc. which must be treated as a core course and passed.
e. Ancillary Course
These are complementary to the core courses in providing a well balanced and broad-based education to the student. These are basic studies, General Studies and related studies. Ancillary courses should form 10% of the total contact hours available to students.
f. Elective Course
An elective course can be offered to make up the units required for the award of diploma.
g. Pre-requisite Course
This is a course that the student must pass before he can proceed to a more advanced course of the same nature, for instance, Organic Chemistry is a pre-requisite for Food Chemistry. It is a course whose knowledge is essential to taking another specified course.
h. Contact Hours
This is the number of actual hours of contact per week between the lecturer/instructor and the students, involving lecturing or Studio /Laboratory Workshop Practical work. There shall be a minimum of 25 and maximum of 30 contact hours per week.
i. Course Unit
- A course unit is defined as follows:
- Lectures of one hour per week for one semester (15 weeks) of instruction shall be equivalent to one course unit (C.U.).
- A course of 2 units shall be taken 2 hours a week for one semester.
- One tutorial hour shall be equivalent to half (1/2) hour of a lecture; and two hours of practical/studio work shall be equivalent to 1 hour of a lecture
- A practical course of one unit shall be taken 2-4 hours a week per semester.
- A course shall not carry more than 4-5 units per semester (practical/studio work).
- Student projects shall be 4-5 course units.
j. Course Load
This is the total of course units students will be taken in one semester. The minimum number of course units will be 18 while the maximum will be 24. The schools should endeavour to keep to this limit. Also, students on probation should be advised by the Course Adviser not to exceed the minimum 18 units.
Registration for Courses
Students must be registered by the School Board of Studies for courses relevant to their programme of study at the beginning of the session. It is important to note that students on the same programme may not necessarily be expected to register for the same number of courses for each semester as individual progression is allowed at rates reasonably adjusted to individual abilities. However, full time students must register for a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 24 course units per semester, distributed among core, elective and ancillary courses according to the requirements of each school.
Assessment of Performance
Assessment of a session’s work shall depend on the totality of the student’s performance in the two semesters for the session. This shall normally consist of Continuous Assessment (CA) and end- of Semester examinations with the relative weighting of 30% and 70%, respectively. Assessment of 2 tests
plus Practical Work, Tutorial, Assignment, etc, shall make up the CA score.
Grading of Courses
The Polytechnic operates the 4-point grading system. The grading system shall be by Grade Point Average (GPA). Minimum Score for Letter Grade E (Pass Mark is 40%, while minimum score for Letter Grade A (Excellent Mark) is 75%.