Nine years after Palm Institute first opened its doors to its pioneering students in 2012, the institution has reached a new milestone by enacting an honour system.
“The leadership of Palm felt very strongly that without an Honour System, our mission of educating ethical leaders was essentially an illusion,” a note on the university’s website said. “We strongly believe that creating an honour system would help build the kind of trust we need as a community.”
Inspired by his college experience in the United States, Dr. Peter Carlos Okantey founded Palm in 2012 in Ghana. Initially started as a diploma-awarding program institute with a mission to train ethical and excellent leaders within a liberal arts curriculum, the University College recently started offering four-year programs in Business Information Technology.
“There was a focus on critical thinking and writing, communication, and preparing the student for career success,” shared Dr. Okantey. “This got me thinking about how we could train strong, and selfless leaders right here in Ghana, to drive the change that we need in the nation and on the continent, while providing them the tools to thrive professionally and ethically.”
By adopting the honor system, students at Palm commit to taking examinations without invigilators. Additionally, the entire community, including faculty and staff, agree to do the right thing even when no one is looking. The honor system further charges members of the community not to compromise with any form of unethical behaviour.
“Through the honour system, we all take ownership of the Palm mission of educating ethical leaders, holding one another responsible, and thereby protecting the integrity of being educated at Palm at all cost,” shared Dr. Okantey.
In building the honour system, the team at Palm Institute worked closely with the University of Cape Coast, their mentor and affiliate university, and Ashesi University which has an existing honour system.
“By leveraging our network, and working through the Education Collaborative at Ashesi, we gained insights into best practices, challenges, and journeys into how institutions like Ashesi have shaped their honour system,” shared Dr. Okantey. “Not only did we engage on an administrative level, but our students also worked with students at Ashesi in developing a system our community is now proud of. “
Through the Education Collaborative at Ashesi, institutions like Palm share and learn best practices, and also benefit from mentorship, support, and collaboration needed to build lasting systems of excellence on the continent.
“The net impact of strong collaboration across schools in Africa is necessary to provide the needed impact in education that we need, ” shared Rose Dodd, Director of the Education Collaborative. “By sharing notes, universities learn from one another, helping to avoid certain growing pains, so they can focus on the core of training leaders. The honour code has been a hallmark for Ashesi University, and we believe it will further strengthen the Palm student and alumni experience.”
“The Education Collaborative provides both a benchmark and sounding board for Palm and me,” shared Dr. Okantey. “Before we implement projects or policies, we consider best practices and also reach out to leading institutions within that space. The opportunity to connect with them whenever we need help, and benefit from their immediate assistance is an incredible benefit of being part of the Collaborative. The more universities we bring together within the Collaborative, we will strengthen the quality of our educational system and the quality of leaders that we graduate.”
About Palm Institute
Palm Institute is an independent private four-year liberal arts university college with a mission to educate ethical and excellent leaders in Africa. Palm began instruction in September of 2012 with eleven (11) students, four (4) staff, and six (6) faculty members.
Palm offers a four (4) year Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Information Technology with an interactive liberal arts core curriculum. The University College looks to expand its programming offerings to include Business Administration and Computer Science with the following options; Software Engineering, Network & Security, Data Management and Analytics.
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