We have heard this observation/complaint often enough from employers when talking about potential new hires: The academe is not producing graduates who are up to the standards and demands of actual work responsibilities. In other words, fresh graduates are entering the workforce without enough capabilities and experience to make a successful transition from classroom to workplace. Employers of today are now looking beyond scholastic success that only translates to paper. There is now marked preference for graduates who manifest capabilities in oral and written communication, critical and creative thinking, and most importantly, the application of knowledge and skills in real-world settings. Clearly, there is a need for schools to pay attention and take heed.
I believe I have found one educational institution in the Philippines who dares to be different by opening doors to relevant education – iACADEMY.
iACADEMY, which goes by the official name Information and Communications Technology Academy is a private non-sectarian college located at the heart of Makati City’s Central Business District specifically at 324 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue. It was originally located at Ayala Avenue but had to transfer in 2014 to accommodate its growing student population. Its location is intentional and purposeful which is to bring education closer the very place where it will be used after. One more reason for this is to be able to get the teaching services of professionals who are working in the area. After all, who could be better teachers than those who are actually living and doing what they teach?
Having been founded in 2001, iACADEMY is a relatively young school but this hasn’t stopped it from achieving several milestones. In 2005, iACADEMY’S program was granted Zero Deficiency by the Commission on Higher Education. It also became the first college to be a WACOM authorized partner in 2009 as well as the first IBM Center of Excellence in the ASEAN Region in 2010.
In 2011, iACADEMY opened its fashion design and technology program and was chosen by Solar Entertainment as the official partner school of Project Runway Philippines. The year 2014 had several highlights including the school’s hosting of ANIMAHENASYON, the largest animation festival in the country, iACADEMY’s team up with Weather Philippines to develop the website and application for faster and real-time weather updates, a study link partnership with DePaul University, the largest Catholic School in America, and partnering with POLIMODA, one of Italy’s leading schools in fashion and marketing.
Degree Programs Offered by iACADEMY
At present iACADEMY offers 8 degree programs:
School of Computing
School of Business
Marketing and Advertising
School of Design
Multimedia Arts and Design
Fashion Design and Technology
The degree programs use industry-aligned curriculum. What sets these programs apart from the others is the 960-hour internship program that every student has to go through before graduating. This internship program is expected to close the gap between employer expectations and new hire capabilities. Recent survey reveals that more employers value interview performance and relevant work experience than academic performance. This is not to say of course that academic performance is worthless. With all things being equal, relevant work experience is an advantage.
The School Tour
We will never know the real feel of a school unless we see for ourselves the atmosphere that prevails in it in a regular school day. That is exactly what I got when I, together with other bloggers were invited for a tour of iACADEMY . The deans of each respective school provided a short background of what students and parents can expect upon enrolling in iACADEMY. We also got to meet the very young president, Vanessa Tanco who is evidently enjoying her work and responsibility. Most importantly, we got to see how impressive the facilities are and how comfortable the students are in their school. The latter is mostly likely a result of the school’s “open door policy” where students can simply walk in the dean’s office when needed as well as the clear stand of the school against bullying. For more information, visit www.iacademy.edu.ph.
Those who know me know that I’m a traditional parent by heart. This is very evident in the way I have brought up my children and the school I have chosen to enroll them in. I personally believe that exposing them to the traditional ways will provide them the foundation they will need as they make their own decisions in life.
However, I have decided long ago that choosing the college course to take will be one of the earliest decisions they will make on their own. This goes with the choice of school as well, with my only nonnegotiable condition being security. Would I consider sending my own children to study at iACADEMY? I certainly would. I can almost imagine them enjoying every moment of their learning experience here, especially my son who has pretty innovative (translated to radical as per traditional school standard) ideas of his own. It will probably be a toss up between Game Development and Animation for him while my young daughter who has her own ideas as well in fashion is definitely eyeing Fashion Design and Technology.
I’m really glad that there are more educational options available at this time. There is really no reason not to get the relevant education that we want so we can have better working opportunities. For parents like me, there is no better assurance that our children will be equipped for the future than having education that really prepares them for the jobs that await them.
Look, I just got “simpsonized” by Dane Romley, iACADEMY’s Creative Director of its School of Design. He served as the character layout artist and designer of The Simpsons Television show and The Simpsons movie. Pretty neat huh?