The New Lasallian Core Curriculum (NLCC), which has been undergoing several developments since the first term of Academic Year 2013-2014, has notable differences compared to the current curriculum the University is implementing. Given this, The LaSallian explains some of the aspects that will be retained or added from the current curriculum to the NLCC.
Spearheaded by Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (AVCAA) Dr. Raymund Sison, the formation of the NLCC was initiated to comply with the proposed general education curriculum developed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the academic standards set by the upcoming 2015 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration.
The entirety of the ASEAN integration is composed of three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). As means to align with these goals, the NLCC was designed to help make the university globally competitive and also reach its vision of becoming a leading learner-centered research university.
Old versus new
Unlike the current curriculum, the government-mandated courses in the NLCC are designed to be interdisciplinary. These include twelve courses, such as Understanding the Self, The Contemporary World and Purposive Communication, among others. There are also three elective academic courses added by DLSU, and one non-academic course on Lasallian Studies: The Life and Thought of John Baptist De La Salle.
These NLCC courses will not have specialized versions, like Purposive Communication for business, social sciences or engineering majors. Meaning, all students will undertake each NLCC course, given its already interdisciplinary design.
According to Dr. Tereso Tullao, Director of the Angelo King Institute and an NLCC Course Design Committee Member, Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) observed that one of DLSU’s weaknesses is their general education curriculum (GEC). He further explains that, “No one really is in charge. [Because there is an] array of courses from different departments right now, there is a serious intent to
make general education [better].”
To achieve this, the NLCC courses will be fixed to all students regardless of the college they belong to. Instead of multiple departments handling these courses, an established unit called the Lasallian Core Curriculum Academy, or simply Academy, will take charge. The establishment of this unit will also help the specific departments to be more focused on their disciplines.
The Academy will not be under any of DLSU’s colleges and will have its own objectives, because its main purpose is to implement the NLCC as specified and designed. Although the Academy will not grant any degrees, it may still hire its own faculty members, who can also have joint appointments. For instance, a faculty member can be teaching both in the Psychology Department and the Academy.
Another notable difference between the current curriculum and the NLCC is the framework. The NLCC is mainly formed to address the changing demands in education, given that the Commission on Higher Education proposed a new GEC, whereas the ASEAN integration is about to take place. To address such demands, the NLCC is grounded in three main principles, namely liberal education, interdisciplinarity and Lasallianess. These principles constitute the learner-centered philosophy of the NLCC.
Among many additions in the NLCC, some aspects from the current curriculum will still be retained. These include the Lasallian competencies such as creative and critical thinking, effective communication and collaboration, service-driven citizenship, and reflective lifelong learning.
With the new curriculum, the design core also aims to instill in students the Lasallian character that pursues love for God, humanity, country and the environment. These can be seen in the courses added by DLSU in the NLCC, which are theology courses and Lasallian studies.
Views on the NLCC
There are a lot of elements to consider in the implementation of the NLCC. While the students may not be fully aware of the scope and details of the NLCC, they feel that the administration and the students must be open-minded, work together, and adjust accordingly to the demands of this new curriculum. Paolo Domingo (I, BS MKT) suggested that the trimestral system be retained upon the implementation of the
When it comes to advantages and disadvantages, Joe Catarata (I, BSE) said that the new curriculum provides flexibility to the students because they can take their preferred courses on their preferred times. However, the professors who are used to the old
curriculum might have difficulties adjusting to the new setting.
By A.Y. 2018-2019, the NLCC is set for full implementation. Its first and second pilot testing will be held from A.Y. 2016-2017 and A.Y. 2017-2018, respectively. For the coming years, the university seeks to intensify its efforts on becoming a leading learner-centered research university in the ASEAN community.