Western Mindanao State University College of Home Economics (WMSU-CHE), in collaboration with United States Agency for International Development-Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (USAID-STRIDE), proudly introduces a new graduate degree program in food science to be offered in the upcoming school year 2017-2018.
University President Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho is positive that through the opening of this new degree program, new directions and paradigms are to be implemented as the University now begin to open new opportunities based on the k-12 transition programs and also the final move for Public-Private Partnerships or the PPP to really be on the go.
In an initial meeting held last June 22, 2016 with prospective industry partners, WMSU team headed by Dr. Ho presented the matrix and the curriculum of the proposed program. “They showed positive results as they have pledged support to the PSM as they find it timely for the industry growth particularly for sardines, canning and related industries,” says Dr. Ho.
Upon the motion of the University President and unanimously seconded by the members of the Board of Regents, the body resolved to the approval of the offering of Professional Science Masters in food Processing and Management in the University effective August 2016. The approval then was adopted during the 174th regular meeting under RA 8292 of WMSU Board of Regents held in Board Room of the Commission of Higher Education in UP Diliman, Quezon City in June 29, 2016.
During the 20th Joint Academic, Administrative, and Research council Meeting held on February 13, 2017, CHE Dean Dr. Lucia M. Santos announced the opening of the Professional Science Masters (PSM) Degree in Food Processing and Management. The program is made possible through the partnership between STRIDE and WMSU for the implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics (STEAM) Graduate Education Program. A perfect fit for professionals as it opens more opportunities to graduates of food processing, business and other related courses to pursue advance education in the field of STEAM while simultaneously developing business management skills highly valued by employers.
“PSM is designed for graduates seeking advanced education in the area of Food Science. It provides students with the real world training in the food industry in the Philippines particularly on processing and manufacturing unit operations, supply chain analysis, market success, and sustainable development,” explains Dr. Santos. PSM is a perfect fit for professionals and it allows them to pursue advance education in STEAM field while simultaneously developing business management skills highly valued by employers.
Empowered by University Board Resolution no. 59 series of 2016, PSM degree in Food Processing and Management covers a total of 36 Units composed of: 18 units in Science and Engineering concentration, 15 units in Business Management concentration and three (3) units of Internship.
To meet the needs of the food industries, says WMSU-PSM coordinator Norqueen Dumadaug, WMSU must partner with research Universities and the industry. “For the industry to be innovative, people must be innovative. Today in food industries we must strive to encourage cross functionality. Best employees are the generalists, these are the people who see jobs in terms of their effects on the business as a whole.” She added.
According to STRIDE Program Chief of Party Dr. David Hall, STRIDE promotes and spurs inclusive economic growth in the Philippines by improving the way Philippine University do research and interact with industries saying “One-third of what we do is to build bridges between the academe and industry. And one of those initiatives is to help through program partnership to run professional science masters programs.”
Host industry- Permex Plant Manager Edgar Lim congratulated the University in offering PSM as it professionalizes the factory management and food establishments in the region. “This is timely considering that Mindanao has a vast potential in marine resources and agricultural inputs. Research and product development will be enhanced with the increase in capital investments,” says Mr. Lim.
Present during the ceremonial signing and launching were canning industry partners, guests from Department of Trade and Industry, representatives from the various private and government agencies, media partners and distinguished guests. (Ella Dee Cruz-PAO,WMSU)