Academe-industry linkages provide BSIT graduates with professional edge

January 29, 2012

In the delivery of Information Technology (IT) courses today, the learner is given a distinct advantage if the course content matches the requirements of local and international industries.

The University of the Cordilleras (UC) College of Information Technology and Computer Sciences (CITCS) responds to this requirement through the university's membership in the Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing University Alliances Program (SAP-UAP), the only university in the region to join the alliance thus far.

SAP Philippines, a corporation with global linkages provides in-country software support and solutions to business, engineering and information technology operations. UC is SAP Philippines' University Competence Center that provides regional educational hosting services under the SAP-UAP.

UC, awarded Center of Excellence (CoE) in Information Technology by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) since 2007, provides at least nine SAP Enterprise Central Component (ECC) 6.0 course tracks in its present Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) program based on a comprehensive assessment of the current market and industry requirements.

UC CITCS Dean Nancy M. Flores said these curriculum tracks are "customized to specific needs of business and other corporate institutions and packaged under an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that provides the student hands-on exposure to actual industry practices, needs and demands."

Under the UC BSIT program, SAP's provision for licensed business solutions software such as ECC 6.0 as well as Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) ensures that UC delivers only up to date, relevant and industry responsive programs in the overall delivery of the university's BSIT course.

However, Dean Flores added that UC's thrust is not only for a "generic understanding of IT solutions and applications, but also to expose the student including their mentors to actual industry practices and institutional work environments."

Under the same SAP UAP agreement, industry linkages have been established to implement the alliance's Advanced Work Appreciation Program (AWAP). This academe-industry linkage, paved the way for the selection of UC as university partner with Texas Instruments Philippines, Inc. (TIPI) for the delivery of an internship and apprenticeship program that allows students to apply their learning of ERP systems in actual corporate and institutional settings.

Through the partnership, UC and TIPI has jointly developed a BSIT-SAP specialization track based on the AWAP system adopted in both theory and practice.

The UC-TIPI university linkage program exposes both student and faculty in the corporate world's key business processes such as supply chain management, finance and human resource components. Under an inorganic work arrangement, the student-interns contribute to TIPI's corporate goals by applying learning concepts under the joint UC BSIT and SAP- UAP system even as a UC faculty industry immersion provides mentors the opportunity to survey the industry for curriculum enhancement.

The UC-TIPI academic linkage provides practical incentives to interns while undertaking actual work. However, Dean Flores said the greatest reward is when the intern is immediately absorbed into the workforce upon graduation.

Currently the president of SAP-UAP Council of the Philippines, Dean Flores reveals that the SAP-UAP and the UC-TIPI university linkage program which began in 2009, has resulted in employment by TIPI of UC BSIT graduates Mary Charles Caoili and Loida Betiz. Another former TIPI intern, Aristide Tao-ey, now works at the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) as ABAP developer.

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