WMSU to Embark on New Frontier with Launch of Distance Education Program
September 19, 2023
Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) is poised to take a significant leap forward in the realm of education with the launching of its Distance Education Program. This initiative aims to offer accessible and flexible learning opportunities, aligning with the changing landscape of education in the digital age. A pivotal meeting held on May 30, 2023, convened top WMSU officials to deliberate on the crucial developments regarding the launch of the Distance Education Program. The meeting, which took place at the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, provided a platform to discuss the progress made and the future prospects of this innovative educational endeavor. The key attendees at this pivotal meeting included Dr. Nursia M. Barjose, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Ma. Socorro Yvonne H. Ramos, Coordinating Dean, Graduate School; Dr. Ricardo Somblingo, Dean, College of Teacher Education; Associate Professor Hashim N. Alawi, Jr., OIC Dean, College of Nursing; and Dr. Fuvie R. Bayot, Director of Distance Education. During the meeting, a series of important updates and insights were shared: The university took proactive steps by conducting benchmarking visits to two prominent institutions, Philippine Normal University (PNU) and the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). This fact-finding mission aimed to gain insights into the processes and operational aspects of Distance Education. With the benchmarking mission providing valuable insights, WMSU now stands ready to initiate its Distance Education Program, subject to the necessary approvals. While awaiting the approval of degree programs, WMSU plans to start with a “Certificate Program.” This approach aligns with the path taken by institutions such as the Philippine Normal University, which initially launched a Certificate in Teaching Program before expanding to degree programs. WMSU has ensured that its proposed Certificate in Professional Education Certificate (PEC) is closely aligned with the curriculum offered by Philippine Normal University (PNU). This program is designed for non-education degree graduates aspiring to qualify for the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Preparations are also underway for the establishment of a dedicated Distance Education office with a Technical Working Group (TWG) and support staff. These efforts aim to ensure the smooth operation of the program under the purview of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Faculty members who will be involved in the PEC program will receive training in instructional materials development and the utilization of the Moodle platform. After extensive programming, testing, and review, the Distance Education website and systems are undergoing finalization and enhancement to ensure data security and optimal functionality. As WMSU embarks on this pioneering journey into Distance Education, it seeks to provide accessible and high-quality learning opportunities that cater to the evolving needs of its students, making education more flexible and attainable. This initiative is poised to unlock new horizons for both the university and its aspiring learners.