Liberia College Reactivates Undergraduate Thesis and Defense

Dr. J. Moses Gray

At long last, the Liberia College (College of Social Sciences and Humanities), University of Liberia after about 15 years, on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 held a colorful program marking the official reactivation of the defense of undergraduate thesis. The established process to defend thesis was conducted in accordance with COVID-19 pandemic in line with campus guidance also stre4ssed strict adherence to Coronavirus protocols coupled with the prescribed health measures. The in-person thesis defense took place at the University of Liberia’s Fendall Campus in the Conference Room assigned to the Vice President for Administration.

With absolute compliance   per the institution’s standard, the Dean of Liberia College, Dr. Josephus M. Gray has constituted an Academic jury of seven Members including Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Senior instructors and two officials of Liberia Institute for Research and Policy Studies of the University of Liberia.

The committee is chaired by Assistant Professor Alex O. Teaway, Director of Planning, Institutional Development of University of Liberia, and co-chaired by Rev. Allen Paye, Deputy Director of Research and Policy Studies, Liberia Institute of Research and Policy Studies, University of Liberia. During the official program, the Dean of the College delivered a special remark and gave the overview of the reactivation of the undergraduate thesis.

At the occasion, the Dean praised the five candidates (four females and one male) from the Department of English and Language Studies for being the first group of students from Liberia College to present and defend their thesis after about 16 years of the suspension of thesis writing. Based on the institutional policy, the thesis committee determines that the Undergraduate theses were adapted into something defensible before the scheduled defense.  The candidates’ supervisors were requested to attend in-person, but were not allowed to comment on the candidates’ presentation and discussion.

The committee asked each candidate to give an overview of his/her thesis, discusses the five chapters and key findings, recommendations and conclusion of his/her research. Each of the candidate’s presentation and discussion session lasted for twenty minutes. Following each presentation, the committee asked the candidates questions relating to their research and engages in dialogue about the defense. However, in a special situation, the supervisors were permitted to make comments. After the exercise, each candidate was told to hang up from the defense while the committee determines if the student has passed and should graduate.

Prior to their advancement to thesis writing, it is demanded that students must  enroll and successfully passed the Research Methodology Course offered every first semester of each Academic Year before the student can be authorized to write and defend his/her thesis or research project as indicated in each department’s approved curriculum. The current curricula of the Departments of English and Language Studies (English and French), History, Geography and Communication and Media Studies (formally Department of Mass Communication) demand for students to write undergraduate thesis   and defend their thesis in-person.

While students from the Departments of Demography, Sociology, Criminology, Philosophy and Religious Studies and Social Work are required to write Undergraduate Research  Project  and defend their  projects in-person. For the Department of Political Science, prospective graduates are required to do a Research Paper, not a thesis or research project. However, the Department of Political Science current curriculum is being revised, as soon it is approved by the faculty senate, wherein, students will be writing thesis and no more research paper.

Liberia College is an interesting place to visit and be. It’s a small, supportive community hosted in a single roof of the Academic Complex of the University of Liberia. It is just a place where you’ll soon know every new friend, but it sits at the heart of the due to its credible history. To us, it’s the best with a beautiful land scape, major highways, with access to every possible amenity. The College is driven by its commitment to society and is dedicated to providing quality programs and degrees in a flexible and supportive environment.

Liberia College has harmonized the various academic departments’ curricula and introduced standardized research methodology courses across the college. Students who successfully pass the research course are advanced for thesis writing. Thesis writing is a part of requirements for students in the college to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Degree.

Liberia College has withstood the test of time as one of the best colleges in the areas of academic excellence, research, quality teaching and creative thinking in which all scholarly works are cherished and promoted. Our students are allowed to decide which of the social sciences and humanities areas of study to specialize in. Our graduates earn Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in the following disciplines: English, French, Demography, Geography, Sociology, Criminology, History, Political Science, Communication and Media Studies as well as Philosophy and Religious Studies and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in Social Work.

Liberia College has continued to evolve since 1862, when the government of Liberia, 15 years after independence, authorized the establishment of a college. The period was a crucial one in the nation’s history with emphasis on education to ensure a sound and academically prepared human resource development. The first President of Liberia, Joseph J. Roberts became the first president of Liberia College. Liberia College has a unique obligation to contribute knowledge and creative thinking to society especially in the areas of education and human services. The college has been successful in integrating research in all the degree granting departments, as a major requirement for graduation. At Liberia College, faculties pursue a full range of research interests related to their own academic disciplines.

At the college, high premium is placed on academic freedom, and students receive a top quality education, while faculty and students are equally held in an orbit of high standard. The college remains committed to empowering its students with requisite knowledge and practical skills vital to achieving personal and professional success in the changing local and global communities. The campus is situated on a major highway and surrounded by friendly communities.

Our faculty and students often say that Liberia College is “just the right size.” It’s an intellectual community where you are known, there are places to gather for learning or fun, and our grounds are perfect for soaking up sun and the beauty of the wider and most spectacular campus. We have one of Liberia’s most sophisticated campuses. The three-story beautiful structure hosts academics and administrators, and several classrooms, suited for teaching and learning. The campus is literally surrounded by lush green rainforest.

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