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As part of our ongoing commitment to make Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) a great place to learn and work, we rolled out several new initiatives to enhance learning and staff engagement.
To encourage purposeful learning and active citizenry, NP introduced a new signature pedagogy across our 49 courses. Launched in March 2016, the new Service-Learning pedagogy aims at leveraging students’ discipline skills and knowledge to meet identified community needs.
Every student from the April 2016 cohort onwards will be exposed to at least one course module that highlights Service-Learning as a key pedagogy. One example of such a module is Managing Disabilities for Diploma in Psychology Studies where students will get to interact with people with disabilities and design activities to cater to their needs. Besides gaining a broader appreciation for their discipline, the initiative hopes to instill in students the importance of empathy and encourage them to serve beyond themselves.
NP regularly updates and develops new course offerings to ensure they are aligned with industry needs.
Two new specialisation tracks have been introduced for students in the Diploma in Early Childhood Education. From April 2016, students can choose either the Early Literacy Track or the Early Childhood Teaching Track in their final year. Similar to students in the Diploma in Child Psychology & Early Education course, they will also get to go on the two-week Global Education Trip to Australia or an Asian destination.
Students in the Diploma in Chinese Studies can now choose from one of three pathways: Education Track, Business Chinese Track or Chinese Early Childhood Track. The Education Track caters to those who are keen on becoming an educator, while students who choose the Business Chinese Track will gain skills in areas such as news writing, advertising, and Chinese business communication and translation. Students interested in becoming a pre-school Chinese Language teacher can take up the Chinese Early Childhood Teaching Track.
The Diploma in Digital Visual Effects (DVFX) has been renamed Diploma in Visual Effects (VFX). The VFX’s revamped curriculum ensures VFX students get a solid grounding in core principles of visual communication, special effects and advanced post-production services.
The School of Engineering launched a new Diploma Plus Programme (DPP) in Satellite Technology which provides students with a foundation in space technology. Students will have the opportunity to work on a multidisciplinary project, visit the Satellite Research Centre and attend lectures at NTU. The DPP is open to engineering students from these four diplomas: Engineering Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronic & Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
In support of the national SkillsFuture movement to ensure our students and graduates get a head start in their chosen careers, we launched several programmes during the year under review.
Education and Career Guidance An enhanced Education and Career Guidance (ECG) curriculum was rolled out in April 2015 to help students make informed career choices right from the start. The new ECG curriculum is a structured three-year programme spanning at least 60 hours. It focuses on personal discovery, career and learning exploration, and career management. A total of 460 lecturers across all academic schools completed a training programme to prepare them for their roles as ECG Advisors. Students will also be able to receive career guidance from full-time ECG counsellors at NP’s Student Services Office.
Multiple Internships A survey conducted in April 2015 showed that close to 60 per cent of about 900 students said they wanted to take on more internships. To cater to this, a new initiative was launched in January 2016 that allows NP students and fresh graduates to gain access to a diverse range of internships and graduate job opportunities through the NP@Glints portal.
Earn and Learn Programmes We continued to push for lifelong learning among our graduates and adult learners. To this end, NP’s Continuing Education & Training (CET) Academy worked with our faculties and industry partners to launch several SkillsFuture Earn-and-Learn Programmes (ELPs). The ELPs allow fresh polytechnic graduates to acquire work experience and professional skills through on-the-job training as well as a structured programme, which will lead to either a Specialist Diploma (12-month programme) or an Advanced Diploma (18-month programme). NP currently offers the Specialist Diploma in Marine Production. During the year in review, NP also announced the launch of the Advanced Diploma in Accountancy for the Accountancy and Financial Services sector, Specialist Diploma in Electrical Design & Operation for the Power Engineering sector, and Specialist Diploma in Marine Design for the Offshore & Marine Engineering sector. These programmes will be offered from September 2016.
Bridging Course for Enrolled Nurses A bridging course that allows enrolled nurses to qualify as registered nurses was launched in June 2015 with an inaugural batch of 73 students. The Certificate in Bridging Studies for Enrolled Nurses (CBSEN) is a course that enrolled nurses – who hold a Nitec in Nursing from ITE – take before pursuing a diploma which will qualify them as registered nurses. Previously, only Nitec holders with a grade point average ranging from 2.8 to 3.0 were eligible to take the CBSEN. Now, enrolled nurses with a lower GPA can qualify for the 16-week course if they have at least three years of working experience and an employer testimonial.
During the year, NP stepped up its efforts to develop an entrepreneurship ecosystem within the NP community to actively nurture a culture of innovation and enterprise.
The Sandbox was launched in May 2015 to consolidate NP’s innovation and entrepreneurship development platforms. It is a one-stop centre offering support to NP’s budding innovators and entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground. Among the initiatives launched by The Sandbox are The Incubator, which features hot-desking stations and meeting rooms. Startup companies can also attend mentoring workshops and networking events with investors. They can build their prototypes at the Makers’ Academy, which is equipped with tools such as a 3D printer, leather craft tools and micro-mechanical machines.
NP held its first Alumni Entrepreneur Homecoming in September 2015 which resulted in the formation of NP Founders Club comprising more than 80 members who are now easily able to stay connected with both NP as well as with each other. In March 2016, The Sandbox also launched a commemorative book, "Those Who Dared", to celebrate the entrepreneurial journeys of successful NP alumni business owners.
In addition, five Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) were appointed to inspire and groom student entrepreneurs. They are: Alvin Yap, CEO & Founder, Laku6; Darran Nathan, CEO & Founder, Progeniq; Douglas Gan, Co-Founder, Vanity Trove; Lynn Tan, Managing Director, Fusion Cosmetics; and Stanley Chia, Managing Director, Envisage Education & Director, Cialfo. Every Wednesday afternoon, one EIR will be at NP to mentor startups.
In November 2015, the six-month Global Entrepreneurship Internship Programme (GEIP) was conceived to provide students with more real-world immersion into entrepreneurship. Through the GEIP, students can experience the realities of startup life at global leading innovation hubs. They will get the opportunity to attend networking sessions organised by well-known incubators, while learning how startups are run. The first batch of 10 GEIP students commenced their internships at various startups in Silicon Valley in March 2016. In future, there are plans to progressively roll out GEIP in other regions such as Jakarta, China and Hong Kong.
To contribute to our students’ hands-on learning experiences, NP constantly enhances its learning spaces. We also continued to build on the capabilities of our staff and implement initiatives to promote camaraderie and build a conducive work environment.
As part of our Phase 7 campus redevelopment exercise, Block 22 was completed in April 2015. The new building is Green Mark Platinum certified and comprises a 1,100-seater food court, an indoor sports hall, staff training and student project rooms, as well as lounging spaces for students. There are three tennis courts at the rooftop. The Student Services Office is also located in this building.
Under Phase 8 of campus rejuvenation, the Aerospace Hub at Block 46 was opened in September 2015. It houses flight simulators, an aircraft hangar and an air traffic control tower. There is also a dedicated area for students to work on their projects and build a recreational aircraft. In addition, the Mechanical Engineering Division which occupies blocks 37 and 47 also had its teaching and learning facilities upgraded. At the same time, the CET Academy moved into the refurbished Block 50, which boasts of a total of 39 classrooms. Over at blocks 52 and 53 where the School of Film and Media Studies and School of Humanities & Social Sciences are located, the buildings were given a facade facelift. The renovation also included the construction of an open vista and vertical green walls.
Rejuvenation works for the Library and Administration Building at Block 1 started in March 2016. At the same time, Block 72, which houses the School of Business & Accountancy, commenced its upgrading programme. Both projects will be completed in December 2016.
While the campus was being spruced up, exciting infrastructural developments in the surroundings were also taking place. In December 2015, the NP community welcomed the completion of the MRT Downtown Line 2 network which provides them with more options to get to campus. Two MRT stations – Beauty World and King Albert Park – are now located about a 10-minute walk away from NP.
To create an inclusive and supportive workplace culture, Staff Councils were introduced by NP to provide an avenue for staff to share ideas on how to improve their work environment. For example, one of the ideas proposed by the Staff Councils was to make NP more family-friendly. In response, the Staff Councils worked with staff from the School of Design & Environment to design a portable and private nursing station for breastfeeding mothers.
A series of lunchtime talks were held throughout the year for staff. Titled DABAO, it was modelled after Brown Bag sessions where participants bring along packed lunches for informal lunch meetings. Conducted by NP staff, the talks covered topics ranging from creative thinking to leadership and events management.
A new programme, Connections, was also developed for staff. Connections is a two-day programme that aims to help staff discover and enhance workplace relationships.