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### Enhancing 6 Fresh Graduate Programs at ISUFST for the Upcoming Academic Year

In a significant move towards academic progress, the Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST) recently completed a vital two-day residential workshop to finalize the establishment of six new postgraduate programs. Conducted at the Park Inn by Radisson in Iloilo City on March 23-24, 2024, this event marked a crucial phase in the university’s endeavor to introduce Master of Arts in Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Education programs with specializations in Mathematics, Science, and English Language Teaching. This endeavor is in line with ISUFST’s dedication to meeting the standards set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and is set to launch these programs in the upcoming academic year.

The workshop over the weekend centered on improving and finalizing curriculum documents, course structures, matrices, and the institution’s research and creative works agenda. This step, as part of ISUFST’s compliance with CHED’s Regional Quality Assessment Team (RQAT) and Technical Committee (TC) guidelines, signifies a hopeful progression towards offering these six postgraduate programs, marking a transformative phase in the university’s academic journey. Dr. Stephen Jinon, the Director of the School of Graduate Studies, highlighted the programs’ potential to nurture educational leaders who instill a passion for lifelong learning.

“At ISUFST, amidst a world increasingly focused on profits, we remain steadfast in our belief that our impact on students’ lives and society’s well-being is the true measure of our success, not financial gains,” affirmed ISUFST President Dr. Nordy Siason, Jr., demonstrating a resolute commitment to advancing the university’s mission of delivering exceptional education grounded in integrity, social justice, discipline, and academic distinction.

Dr. Joan Belga, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, also pledged to enhance the curriculum, research, and creative endeavors to ensure the programs align with the highest standards of educational excellence. She emphasized the significance of a strong human infrastructure within the organization, acknowledging the pivotal role of the dedicated faculty in ISUFST’s achievements and the weight of responsibilities they bear.

The workshop featured sessions on formulating admission policies, presenting outcomes, finalizing course options, and deliberating on course structuring. Specialized discussions for each major were conducted to streamline the process, culminating in the completion and submission of all necessary documentation.

This initiative follows a thorough evaluation of the proposed postgraduate programs by CHED’s Joint Regional Quality Assessment Team (RQAT) and the Office of Programs and Standards Development (OPSD) Technical Committee Review. The evaluators meticulously assessed ISUFST’s faculty credentials, infrastructure, and program offerings, offering valuable insights to enhance the university’s educational strategies. Leveraging its accomplished faculty members and academic resources, the institution received favorable feedback, leading to the successful two-day event.

The postgraduate programs, featuring innovative tracks like the Ph.D. in Education specializing in English Language Teaching and a distinct focus on Creative Works—an unprecedented move for local academic institutions in the region—reflect ISUFST’s commitment to establishing new standards in academic excellence. Moving forward, ISUFST remains steadfast in its pursuit of the highest educational quality and innovation, with the community eagerly anticipating the launch of these postgraduate programs. This endeavor underscores ISUFST’s dedication to excellence and its pivotal role in shaping the future of education in the nation. (Text by Herman Lagon; Photos by Ella Bayatan and Herman Lagon)