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Ghana: Gendered Economics or Special Education

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 to enhance students’ global experience. Students will have the opportunity to chose between two courses based on interests and academic needs, and all students will travel together.

Course Descriptions

Students will enroll in only one 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 winter term, our class will be offered the opportunity to accompany Dr. Petroff and Dr. 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.

Program Information

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

Liberal Learning: ECO 270 / WGS 270 / INB 250 fufils Global and Gender, and/or an Economics or Business elective.

Dates: TBD, Winter 2019 (Program will run about 2 weeks)

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

Eligibility: No prerequisites, no language requirements, or GPA restrictions. Open to all students (including current first-year students).

Program Fee: TBD. (Winter 2018 Fee was $5,462.07). In the meanwhile, explore scholarship opportunities.


  • 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; then explore the store with local crafts
  • Makola Market in Accra: Browse food, household goods, and handcrafts like kente cloth
  • A rural village
  • B. Dubois’s house and Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture in Accra
  • Haven Resource Center for Parents and Teachers of Children with Autism
  • Beyond Aid, an organization that trains women in fair-trade crafts for a sustainable livelihood
  • Optional Excursions, including

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


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

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

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