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TCNJ in Ghana

TCNJ in Ghana is a comprehensive Faculty-Led program based on a partnership between the Department of Economics and Department of Special Education. This exciting, eye opening program is based at the University of Ghana, Legon with excursions around the area in order enhance the student’s experience in Ghana.
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 Program Description

The Ghana Program will be centered at the University of Ghana at Legon, on the northern edge of the coastal city of Accra. The program will include visits to:

  • Cape Coast Castle. Experience the somber conditions at the slave fortress where so many captive western Africans were warehoused like cattle before being put on ships for the Americas.
  • Kakum Rain Forest. Take the canopy walk, climb hilly terrain and be welcomed with fresh coconut milk. Explore the store with local crafts.
  • Makola market in Accra, including food, household goods, and handcrafts like kente cloth.
  • A rural village
  • B Dubois’s house and Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture in Accra on M L King Day
  • Haven Resource Center for Parents and Teachers of Children with Autism
  • Beyond Aid – training women in fair-trade crafts for a sustainable livelihood

Optional Excursions:

  • Jamestown/Usshertown castle and fishing village in Accra
  • Lake Volta
  • Kokrobite or Bojo Beach
  • Aburi Botanical Gardens

Program Information

Course: ECO 270 / WGS 270 / INB 250: Women, Gender and Economic Development or SPE 324 / SPED 626 / SPED 664 / Independent Study in Special Education: Theory and Practice in the Education of Students with Complex Disabilities

Dates: Winter 2018

Program Directors: Dr. Michele Naples, Associate Professor of Economics and Dr. Jerry Petroff, Professor of Special Education, Language & Literacy

Winter 2018 Program Fee: TBD (Winter 2017: Undergraduate–$4,574.14 & Graduate–$5,085.09  View budget sheet)

Course Descriptions

Students will enroll in only one (1) of the following courses:

ECO 270 / WGS 270 / INB 250: Women, Gender and Economic Development

Instructor: Dr. Michele Naples,
This course examines the literature on women’s particular experiences in economic development. Students will learn how to use critical analysis through case studies and problem-solving exercises. Topics covered include a gendered approach to West African economic history; household profiles and dynamics; women’s work in agriculture, produce markets, the informal sector, factory/service work and work abroad for emigrants; asset inequality; micro-credit; and current efforts towards improvement. This can count as either a Liberal Learning in Global, Gender (pending) and/or as an Economics elective. There are no prerequisites for this course.

SPE 324 / SPED 626 / Independent Study in Special Education: Theory and Practice in the Education of Students with Complex Disabilities

Instructor:  Dr. Jerry Petroff,

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the rate of disability in Ghana as 7 to 10 percent of the population. In Ghana, as in many developing countries, individuals with disabilities represent an impoverished and marginalized group, characterized by lack of access to public health services, education and other essential services. Despite government policy and recent legislation promoting inclusive education, many children with the most complex disabilities are excluded from any form of education (Ghanaian Education Service, 2007). During this three-week Winter Term (2017), a class of 10 students will be offered the opportunity to accompany two TCNJ professors (Dr. Jerry G. Petroff & Dr. Michele Naples) to the West African Nation of Ghana and engage in an intensive culturally rich learning experience. Students will be instructed in research supported “best practices” that can address the needs of students with complex disabilities within the context of Ghanaian culture. It is expected that that students who take this course will emerge feeling confident and ready to address the needs of children and youth from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Through the use of a balanced schedule of lecture, demonstration and classroom-based experiences, students will develop knowledge and skills in current best practices that address the needs of individuals with low incidence disabilities (e.g. autism, intellectual disabilities). Practices in areas such as assessment, curriculum design, instructional strategies, positive behavioral supports and home-school collaboration will be examined throughout the course. This Winter Session Course has been designed to meet the requirements of the SPE 324 Education of Students with Severe Disabilities or SPED 626 Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities. In addition, students from various Schools within the College may elect to take this study abroad course as an Independent Undergraduate or Graduate, Faculty-Student Research Project


Please contact the TCNJ Center for Global Engagement at, 609-771-2596.

For course specific questions, please contact Dr. Michele Naples, or Dr. Jerry Petroff,

Please review our refund, cancellation, and withdrawal policy statement should a student not be able to participate in the program.