Demystifying Academics and Urban Poor Development: The Case of Capitol University Extension Programme


Abstract
The CARE-SEED Program or Change-Agent in Research and Extension - Socio-Economic and Environmental Development is a participatory urban poor upgrading approach that involves the different colleges and non-teaching staff of the Capitol University in their efforts to uplift adopted urban barangay [barangay is the smallest unit of governance in the Philippines. A town or a municipality or even a city is composed of several barangay]. This approach is an offshoot of the extension program experience at barangay Dayawan in the Municipality of Villanueva from 1996-2003. Since then, this locally funded program has improved and moved to urban poor areas around Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City to serve as the social responsibility component of the university.
The CARE-SEED program's urban poor community development starts with community assessment (research component), community organizing, presentation of community assessment and community program planning to answer the urban poor community's priority needs as they it fit. This planning involves the stakeholders, the local government officials and representatives from the various colleges of Capitol University. After program planning, the different colleges of CU and barangay counselors are assigned to specific programs for equal sharing of responsibilities, for overseeing the implementation and the progress of it and for collaboration with other non-government organizations and civil societies who are interested in specific programs being implemented in CU adopted urban poor communities. Weekly monitoring and recording are strictly observed since these become the basis for a quantifiable annual evaluation and planning. The faculty and students are integral component in the implementation of the programs. Progress and special needs are also presented in the monthly barangay meeting of the Local Government Unit (LGU) for updates and for necessary action.
Learning from these extension work experiences finds its way into the academic community as it becomes the content in the classrooms. Learned experiences are applied back from the classroom to community development. Eventually, the trilogy functions of the university are addressed.
The trilogy functions of a university are research, academics, and extension - these are the pillars that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) looked into before it elevated Cagayan Capitol College (CCC) to Capitol University (CU) in 2003. On December 11, 2008, after five years of being a university, the CARE-SEED Program of the Extension Department of this privately owned non-sectarian institution was proclaimed as one of the Regional Winners of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Outstanding Higher Educational Institution (HEI) Extension Program Award. As of the moment, it is vying for the 2009 National Award against all other regions in the Philippines.

Contact
Prof. Noel Cornel Alegre
Dr. Alicia M. Diel
Lecturer at Capitol Institute for Research & Extension (CINREX) Corrales/Osmena Extension University of Civil Engineering (UCE),
Cagayan de Oro - Philippines

 

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