Foundation University establishes her niche in this university town as she commemorates her 74th founding anniversary on July 4, 2023. Anchored on the theme, “FU @ 74: Proudly Soar,” the university, together with her constituents and stakeholders, shows to the world that she can weather any storm.
As the world struggled amid the ravages wrought by the CoViD-19 pandemic for more than two years, Foundation University overcame the obstacles with grit, determination, and resilience. With full face-to-face classes back in all levels, the campus brims with life as teachers and learners make up for time spent online.
As a trailblazer in the use of digital technology in the delivery of instruction, particularly at Foundation Preparatory Academy, adapting to classes held virtually did not pose a problem during the pandemic as teachers and students were adept with using technology through its iPad program. College instructors followed suit until today where the university implements the hybrid-flexible (hyflex) learning modality through the university learning management system known as the Foundation University Expanded Learning (FUEL).
It must be this edge on digital technology that Foundation University has that made her responsive to such challenges as seen in the enrolment figures which were better than those prior to the pandemic.
As education in the 21 st century gets to be more innovative and even creative, university president Arch. Victor Vicente “Dean” G. Sinco expounds: “We have felt that the inclusion of technology in instruction has always been a necessity for the past, present and, definitely, the future. But, it isn’t technology that is revolutionary as the digital devices are just tools. What we have realized is that technology lends itself very well to insuring that information and skills are learned, assimilated, and well implemented when the students are asked to do so.”
The Program for Uncompromised Personalized Attention (PUPA), uniquely a trademark of Foundation University, has kept the bond stronger between teachers and learners. “We have had PUPA for more than two decades now and this philosophy works very well with today’s paradigm. We are moving from teaching to mentoring and now, finally, to coaching. Coaching requires not only the training and assimilation of knowledge, but also understanding on how to get the students to peak, such as in a sports match, so the end results are of the highest caliber in performance. Grades, in this regard, are in our minds quite irrelevant, but performance is of the most import,” Sinco intones.
He expressed his desire to see the day when locals would have no compelling need to look for jobs outside because there are industries in the city or nearby, thus, you can choose to leave if you want to, or you can stay.
“I wish to change the mindset where there is enough empathy to learn from others and not feel intimidated. The challenges in the past have tested how far Foundation University can go,” adds Sinco.
As Foundation University looks forward with optimism and hope to her Diamond Jubilee by 2024, the core values of excellence, commitment, integrity, and service are her guiding hallmarks.
By far, among her degree programs, Business Administration and Liberal Arts have been granted Level 3 re-accreditation status by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA). The B.S. Elementary Education and the B.S. Secondary Education Programs are now on its first Level 3 re-accredited status from PACUCOA. Moreover, Industrial Engineering is on its second Level 2 re-accredited status from the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU). The Master in Business Administration and the Master of Arts in Education are on Level 1 candidate status.
In January this year, the following programs have been accorded Associate Status by PACUCOA, namely: A.B. Broadcast Communication, B.S. Biology, B.S. Criminology, B.S. Hospitality Management, and Master in Public Administration.
The university is also working on improving its facilities. Expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024 is the Foundation Preparatory Academy Science Wing and Art Gallery. An extension of the College of Nursing building is in the pipeline, especially that the College expects to have an enrolment of up to 2,000 by academic year 2025-2026. Similarly, the Main Library is expected to complete its renovation and expansion by the first quarter of 2025. Also among the structures that will undergo refurbishing and renovation until 2027 are the Department of Architecture and Fine Arts, and the College of Hospitality Management.
In the words of her founder, Dr. Vicente G. Sinco, a native of Negros Oriental who came from a challenging socio-economic background because of his religious lineage and who, among other achievements, became dean of the College of Law of the University of the Philippines (UP) and served as UP’s president from 1958-1962: “We want to educate men and women whose only passport is intellectual competence; whose pursuit is excellence of mind, body, and character; and whose quest is for freedom and truth.”
As his grandson, Dean Sinco, added: “We wish to welcome to the university not only students with a similar background as my grandfather’s, but also those with affluent means, coming from all tracks of life, and to learn from the environment they came from.”
Dr. Sinco started the then Foundation College 74 years ago with the mission of “promoting a climate of excellence in the pursuit of new knowledge and life-long learning in the service of society.”
Such is the thrust of Foundation University through the years, guided by her founder’s mission. The legacy of Dr. Vicente G. Sinco lives on in his grandson, Victor Vicente G. Sinco, the current president, as well as in the women and men who have imbibed the university’s mission and vision either as members of the administration, as faculty and staff, as students, and as alumni. (Cecile M. Genove)