A Memorandum of Agreement creating the Mindanao Academic Case Developers Consortium (MACDC) was forged among three top Mindanao universities — MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UP-Min) and Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) last September 2017. The MACDC was the brainchild of four USAID – STRIDE Case Writing and Teaching Workshop alumni who were required to conduct echo trainings on case teaching in their respective universities. However, the bigger vision of reaching out to more than 400 HEIs in Mindanao and sharing the case teaching method as a learning approach motivated Dr. Pamela F. Resurreccion of the College of Business Administration and Accountancy (CBAA) and Asst. Prof. Lemuel Clark P. Velasco of the School of Computer Studies, both teaching in the Master in Business Management program of CBAA, MSU-IIT, along with Asst. Prof. Thaddeus R. Acuña, CPA of UP – Mindanao and Prof. Noel Tarrazona of WMSU to organize a consortium.
MACDC aims to (1) promote and advocate the use of case study approach or methodology in academic learning within the Mindanao setting; (2) provide a venue for enhancing skills of Mindanao teachers/professors in case teaching; (3) sustain development of case studies on various areas of interest in Mindanao governance, science and technology, entrepreneurship and management, peace and order, Mindanao culture, gender and development, among others; and (4) establish continuing collaboration between and among industry players, development institutions, government and higher education institutions (HEIs) in Mindanao.
The Mindanao Case Teaching Workshop is the first project of the MACDC; it was held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Davao City last September 28 – 30, 2017. A total of 25 selected participants coming from 11 HEIs in Mindanao attended the 3 – day training. The HEIs include MSU – Iligan Institute of Technology, University of the Philippines – Mindanao, Western Mindanao State University, Andres Bonifacio College (Dipolog City), Furigay College (Basilan), Notre Dame of Jolo College (Sulu), Bukidnon State University (Malaybalay City), Davao Doctors College (Davao City), University of Southeastern Philippines (Davao City), Mindanao Autonomous College Foundation, Inc. (Basilan) and University of Southeastern Philippines (Tagum City).
As facilitators of the Case Teaching Workshop, Dr. Resurreccion gave a short lecture and led a discussion on “The Educational Process: From Curriculum to Learning” while Asst. Prof. Velasco gave an overview of the case teaching process and introduced the participants to the William Davidson Institute Philippines STRIDE Cases.
“We were overwhelmed by the positive response of the participants,” Asst. Prof. Velasco said and added that the participants were looking forward to a case writing workshop. “One of the goals of the MACDC is to come up with a collection of Mindanao cases that faculty members from different disciplines can use to enhance the learning experiences of students,” Dr. Resurreccion said.
The case method is among the learning approaches encouraging active learning among students.
MSU-IIT could be the gateway for the world to understand Mindanao.
Visiting professor Dr. Toshiko Tsujimoto expressed great optimism for the Institute before leaving Iligan.
Dr. Tsujimoto, or Toshiko-san (Ms. Toshiko) as she prefers to be called, came to IIT for a lecture series on qualitative research to undergrad and graduate students of some of the colleges, as organized by the School of Graduate Studies.
Prior to the week-long lecture series, she was invited as plenary speaker at the Ika-9 na Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Filipino (9th National Conference on Filipino). Her lecture at the conference dealt with her experience of learning the Filipino language within and outside the Philippines.
During the course of her visit, Toshiko-san was introduced to the Institute’s extension programs: the Badjau community and the Bayug Island restoration.
She found this to be an impressive endeavor of the Institute, to do action researches that address issues and solving problems in the community. This sense of contribution to society in the academe, according to her, is interesting because she finds how different the missions are of Kyoto University and MSU-IIT.
When asked about IIT’s presence in the ASEAN radar, Toshiko-san believes in the great potential of the Institute for exchange programs and academic integration especially with the cultural diversity in Mindanao.
Her expectation and objective as a visiting professor was simple: to give what could be helpful to the Institute especially in terms of research and, at the same time, to learn something she could bring back to Japan, “to bring IIT in the awareness in the world especially in Kyoto University.”
She also adds that her visit to IIT, which is also her first visit to Mindanao, opened her eyes to the everyday life of the people in the island. She saw how people live harmoniously in a culturally diverse society which, she said, Manila clearly lacks and misrepresents.
According to Toshiko-san, while multiculturalism in U.S., Europe, or Australia have been well studied, “the definition of multiculturalism [in Mindanao] will be very different from that of European countries.” She believes this is diversity in Mindanao could be worth looking into especially by her fellow and student “Filipinologists” in Japan.
Toshiko-san looks forward to bringing her students in Mindanao to immerse them with a more diverse reality in the Philippines.
Dr. Toshiko Tsujimoto is a Senior Researcher at Kyoto University Asian Studies Unit. She finished her Doctor of Literature (Sociology) at SungKongHoe University in South Korea. Dr. Tsujimoto was also a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of South Korea in University of Toronto.
by Zarina Isla-Villadolid, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
The integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has indubitably altered the academic landscape. As one of the premier universities of the country, MSU-IIT has ardently answered the call to internationalize education and bolster global competitiveness.
In cognizance of the need for a systematic and sustained effort for the improvement of the quality of education, the Institute organized the Academic Summit in June last year to collectively address emerging concerns.
Discussions are currently underway for the conduct of another summit before the end of the first quarter of 2016 in order to come up with more concrete plans for the future of the Institute in the context of the AEC.
But as CHED International Affairs Staff Director Lily Freida M. Milla emphasized during the news briefing leading to the annual European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) in November 2015, internationalization is not the goal. It is but an input to quality. As such, MSU-IIT is helping to ensure the quality of employment for Filipinos, not just adding to the quantity.
“We need to produce specific skills and qualifications that are not only demand-driven but also meeting professional standards,” says School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Dean Dr. Alita T. Roxas.
She adds that there is a need for graduates to be better prepared for the massive employment opportunities the ASEAN Integration is expected to bring about.
To strengthen its academic programs and its faculty profile, the Institute has employed multi-faceted strategies. Aside from revising curricula to align with the standards of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), the possibility of offering new interdisciplinary programs is being explored. Colleges are likewise benchmarking their programs against those of top ASEAN universities and, at the same time, establishing linkages through collaborative research and student exchange. A number of Visiting Professors have also been invited to handle special courses and collaborate on research.
To facilitate student and faculty mobility, the Institute spearheaded the move to synchronize the academic calendar of the MSU System with partner universities in the ASEAN, beginning AY 2015-2016.
MSU-IIT has also undertaken measures to cultivate a culture of research. These include the establishment of the Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics (PRISM), increased incentives for research and publication, grant of support for paper presentations, and the regular conduct of scientific forums and research colloquia.
The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) in partnership with Land Bank-Iligan Branch offers a deferred payment scheme for tuition and miscellaneous fees to attract more enrolees to the Institute’s graduate programs.
Paying full tuition has been the problem of many since state universities andcolleges (SUCs) in the country require students to pay the full amount upon enrolment. With this new payment scheme, the SGS aims to increase graduate student enrolees and give chances to financially-disadvantaged individuals in pursuing graduate degrees.
Presently students or future students can now enroll and pay their tuition throughthe use of a credit card with as much as P20,000.00 payable in five months with a 1.5% interest per month. They can also have a “declining balance” if they pay their tuition by instalment at the Land Bank.
Interested individuals can avail of this deferred payment scheme by filling out some forms available at the departments where their programs of study are offered. They need to bring these forms to Land Bank for the processing of the credit card. If a student has no existing bank account yet, he/she has to open an account with the bank, with a P500.00 maintaining balance.
An applicant may not be given a chance to avail of this payment scheme if he/she has negative records from other banks. Interested individuals may inquire about this payment scheme at the departments offering graduate programs or the School of Graduate Studies.
“The best motivation [for researchers] is problem solving. This is what MSU-IIT would like to stand for. This is where we would like your taxes to go,” so said Dr. Edgar W. Ignacio, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) on the role of MSU-IIT in research that set the tone for the 6th School of Graduate Studies Research Colloquium on August 13 and 14.
The VCAA was the plenary speaker during the Opening Program held at the College of Education.
“We need to develop our graduate studies for our people. Mindanao needs a class A university. Maybe we are not yet there but we should move slowly towards that because I think this is what we owe to our people, our country,” he added.
He pointed out that academic requirements prepare researchers to solve the problems they are to face in the future. He stressed that from the start, they should know what they want, what to solve, and what to become.
“You are actually fortunate because you are in this environment where you are highly subsidized by the tax money of the Filipinos. We are subsidized as compared to other SUCs. And because of this, I hope you will not feel bad when you see standards revised, implemented and seriously being considered as guides when it comes to quality assurance,” he explained.
Ignacio was quite realistic in pointing out the changes that are soon to happen. He cited the ASEAN integration by December of 2015 as one which we all have to be ready.
“One of the critical issues that we are seriously considering is the possibility that our faculty force, in general, will be competing with the faculty force coming from other ASEAN countries,”
After a brief open forum, the first sessions of the research colloquium began. Presenters were given 20 minutes each to present their study and another 20 minutes to answer questions raised by the panelists and the audience.
Twenty-seven Graduate students from various degree programs in the Institute presented their papers during the two-day research colloquium. These were Leo N. Santillana, Alethea Barbra B. Balag, Katherine Grace J. Liwanag, Mary Leah N. Hisona, Pedro C. Gamba, Kelvin T. Grecia, Kenneth S. Limpahan, Ronald A. Garbin, Milbert James T. Calunsag, Aielyn G. Ali, Datumanong T. Ebil, Salvador M. Almine, Manaros Malik M. Mandolo, Oliver L. Arriesgado, Aida I. Aksah, John Ed Audustus A. Escorial, Marion A. Abingosa, Zenon A. Matos, Victor Constantine C. Cinches, Jamael B. Ilupa, Jordan Butz T. Apa-ap, Neil Arkhe P. Azcuna, Sittie Juhanna M. Pandapatan, Ayshia F. Kunting, Honeylet B. Nocon, Charity I. Mulig, and Gilbert B. Abejar.
Dr. Arnold C. Alguno, a professor of the Department of Physics, was the plenary speaker during the Closing Program held in the afternoon of August 14. He focused on how the Institute can move forward in research.
Alguno discussed ways to boost research output, issues in Graduate education, dissertation and thesis outline, Graduate mentoring and a simple guide for authorship. He challenged everyone to think about the current research trends and to face the challenges in interdisciplinary research and the inherent complexity of nature and society, among others.
He admitted that there are only a few interdisciplinary studies done in the Institute and felt that this area should probably be improved.
Alguno agreed with Ignacio on the importance of research in an academic environment like MSU-IIT.
“Without research and linkages, we are nothing,” he said.
He also presented to the audience a simple outline for dissertations and theses which was crafted by the Biological Science Department. He explained that there is a need to have more research outputs as much as we can. However, researchers are hampered because of the format of their papers which need reconstruction to suit the format that is required of journal articles. With the change in outline, the department now finds it easy to submit papers for publications.
“That’s why it’s easier for them to submit because [with the new outline, the research] is already a journal article,” Alguno explained.
He pointed out, however, that in the real world, impact factor is more significant than being published in an ISI journal. He illustrated that a researcher may have fewer studies published but if the impact factor of these are high, then they will have more value and contribution as compared to several researches published by another but which gained less impact factor.
Researches then should be carefully planned and carried to have merit in an ISI journal and to gain significant impact factor.