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Arts & Sciences Year Starter: Looking Back & Looking Forward

May 22,2014

The School of Arts and Sciences held its Year Starter on May 16, 2014 (Friday) at the Kuniberta Hall. Organized and facilitated by the AS Dean, Ma. Asuncion A. Azcuna, the program set the mood and the direction for the opening of classes.

After the satisfying breakfast and lively chats among colleagues, a team building activity dubbed as “The Amazing Race” followed. Six teams made up of five to six AS faculty members were challenged to complete the three tasks given: group selfie with three historical posts in the school, gathering books on three subject areas in the library, and a game of shooting hoops for the vertically challenged member of the group.  The first three groups to finish the tasks were then awarded. As pointed out by Dean Azcuna, apart from cooperation and teamwork, the spirit of competition and application of the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) were highlighted from the team building activity.

This was then followed by the Dean’s report on the activities and involvement of the various departments, highlighting the different programs, competencies, and platforms for academic presentations for major and General Education (GE) courses. She further noted that the faculty’s voices had been heard and continued to encourage the faculty to ask questions, and to provide suggestions and venues for collaboration. Moreover, she also emphasized the importance of the school’s website as one of the sources of information for the majors and encouraged the faculty to document programs and activities and to provide quality articles and photographs that tell stories.

Ongoing concerns of the school were also identified: 2016 plans, student enrolment, and impact of SSC learning on the students who decided to leave the school.

Emphases for the upcoming school year are on stricter penalty for plagiarism and cheating cases, the synergy between innovation and environment (“Blue is the New Green”),”smart” as a verb, and preparation of short programs for the school year 2016- 2018.

Possible projects to look forward to in this coming school year include the feeding and teaching  program of the Faculty Outreach Committee, creative voices platforms for synergetic activities, photo display of the last 10 years from each department, acting workshop for faculty, and brown bag sessions.

Presentations of the department chairs then followed which showcased a variety of activities and highlights of the previous year. Insights taken from the presentations included the importance of relating content to competencies, methodologies, and out-of-class activities.  The morning’s session was then capped off with a reminder from the Dean that academic excellence combined with community involvement yields an education as social responsibility.

The afternoon session centered on the aligning of the syllabi with OBE, and reviewing the thesis and practicum protocol of the departments. Each department was assigned a mentor to help the group revise the syllabi. Deadlines were set by their respective mentors to prepare the syllabi for submission to the Dean’s Office on May 30.

The AS Year Starter concluded with each department’s plans for ensuring the completion of the tasks given.