MMSU produces 1st grads in renewable energy eng’g, Ilokano studies

MMSU has produced the country’s first graduates of  Professional Science Masters in Renewable Energy Engineering (PSM-REE) and Master of Arts in Education major in Ilokano Studies (MAEd-IS) degrees.


Both programs were first offered in school year 2016-2017 in an ambitious attempt to advocate the production of renewable energy technologies in the country, and advance the Ilocano language and culture in the Ilocos region. There are 12 pioneer graduates in the PSM-REE, while three in the MAEd-IS.


Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos lauded the first graduates of both programs by giving the graduates special citations during the 40th Commencement Exercises last June 8 at MMSU Sunken Garden.


“It is the pleasure and honor of the Province of Ilocos Norte to give these special awards to the pioneers of these fields in the academe, emulating those pioneers of Ilocano tradition and history who have reached the very corners of the globe,” Gov. Marcos said.


In 2016, the MMSU and a team from the United State Agency for International Development - Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (USAID-STRIDE) met with selected university professors at the University Hostel and developed a curriculum that offers PSM-REE that will respond to professional development of practitioners in the different industries in the country.


STRIDE is a USAID-Philippines project under the Partnership for Growth (PFG), which is an initiative of the US government. This partnership promotes broad-based and inclusive growth by working with the government of the Philippines, the private sector, and civil society organization to help put the country on an accelerated growth trajectory that benefits the majority of its people.


In that meeting, Dr. Aubteen Darabi, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Learning and Performance Systems at the Florida State University said that since industries on alternative energy are abound in Ilocos Norte such as the windmill and some hydroelectric plants that process thermal energy, these could serve as laboratories for concretizing the learning of concepts and hands-on experiences of the future students.


The PSM-REE is a two-year program which provides advanced professional training and managerial capability building for industry and academic personnel expected to spearhead researches, programs and projects that will harness the development of alternative energy for national self-sufficiency, self-reliance and self-sustainability.


“This is a unique graduate degree program aimed at preparing professionals for careers in renewable energy engineering in public and private industries,” Dr. Darabi said, adding that the course provides advanced intensive training, academic and workplace skills to prepare the students for more innovative engineering operations and applications of renewable energy-based industries.


The degree also prepares the practitioners for leadership in project and organizational management, and enhances research capabilities of industry- and academic-based personnel for sustainable development.


The PSM-REE has a unique curriculum that married engineering and management. This means that besides enhancing the graduates’ capabilities in engineering, the curriculum would develop their managerial capability especially in the aspects of management of programs and projects, human resources, human relations, fiscal management, and fundamentals of administration.


The curriculum provides for the development of field-specific expertise -- such as solar, geothermal, hydro, wind, biomass -- hand-in-hand with their leadership capability such that, ultimately, they become managers in their respective units.


The curriculum was crafted using the Project Cycle and Management Functions as the framework. The total course work is composed of 39 units broken down as follows: core, 9 units; technical, 12; cognate, 3; management, 9; and capstone project, 6.


On the other hand, the MAEd-IS is an answer to the growing demand of elementary school teachers for them to learn the correct usage of the Ilocano language which they need to implement the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) program.


The program is meant to train and equip school teachers and cultural workers from the Ilocano speaking region in the country (who may want to enroll in the program) with the skills needed to pursue the ends of liberation education via the MTB-MLE.