Various initiatives have been in place since the formation of the New Lasallian Core Curriculum (NLCC) Framework Committee in academic year (AY) 2013-2014 to augment the project. These include the formation of the NLCC Curriculum Design Committee (NLCC-CDC) and the creation of the course syllabi design. Currently, the committee is also finalizing the resource materials and undergoing the training of faculty members who will pilot the new syllabi by next year.
On the NLCC
The NLCC is the University’s own version of the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) new general education curriculum. The courses under the NLCC are currently being developed in response to the higher demands of the K to 12 program, which will usher in graduates from Senior High School (SHS) who have acquired higher forms of study. Among these include the academic strand, technical-vocational-livelihood strand, sports strand, and arts and design strand.
Apart from this, the creation of the NLCC also seeks to eliminate the redundancy of courses that will be taken in college as compared to the subjects taken in the K to 12 program’s Grades 11 and 12.
The NLCC is grounded on the principles of “liberal education, interdisciplinarity, and Lasallian-ness.” The NLCC contains government-mandated academic courses composed of the following: Understanding the Self, Readings in Philippine History, The Contemporary World, Mathematics in the Modern World, Purposive Communication, Art Appreciation, Science, Technology and Society, Ethics, Life and Works of Rizal, A Faith Worth Believing, Following Jesus in the Gospels, and The Filipino and Association of Southeast Asian Nations. These courses were developed by the NLCC-CDC.
Reviewing the resource materials preparation
Last term, the agenda of the NLCC committee was to prepare the resource materials which were indicated in the course syllabi. According to NLCC Committee Head Dr. Rene Escalante, the preparation of the resources materials continues on the current term alongside the training of faculty members in time for next AY. He adds that the mandatory resource materials are available in the DLSU library and some supplementary materials are uploaded online.
Dr. Ederlina Nocon, NLCC-CDC Head of the course Mathematics in the Modern World (MMW), shares that some teaching materials were already developed for the course. However, she still plans on submitting project proposals for further materials developed to be used in the training of faculty members.
Training of faculty members
According to Dr. Escalante, the NLCC-CDC will take matters on faculty training into their own hands. “The CDC heads will do these on their own and they will be monitored by the NLCC committee. So far, the syllabus making process for the courses under [Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 20] proceeded smoothly,” Escalante claims.
To be eligible for the training program and the teaching of NLCC courses, among the faculty qualifications include commitment to the Lasallian Mission, competence in teaching the course, and knowledge on interdisciplinary teaching. Aside from this, the training includes interdisciplinary assessment, Lasallian formation, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which is a scholarly inquiry that promotes student learning through making inquiries public.
Dr. Nocon states that proper training on content and methodology are necessary for training teachers in preparation for the NLCC courses. She adds that her team conducted seminars during AY 2015-2016 which integrated MMW into the course Math Appreciation (MATAPRE). The integration hopes to replace algebra courses and instead, introduce students to practical mathematics applied in the real world, such as basic financial literacy, stock trading, game theory, and cryptography, among others.
Furthermore, Dr. Nocon specifies that they will accept teachers from other colleges who express interest in teaching the said NLCC course. The process, however, has yet to be inalized.
The LaSallian attempted to contact several other NLCC-CDC Heads, but the interview requests were declined.
Teaching of NLCC courses
By AY 2018-2019, the NLCC is set to be fully implemented into all classes. By that time, graduates from Grade 12 will also be coming into college. With the NLCC, DLSU is able to adapt to the higher education demands brought by the advanced subjects taken by students during SHS’ Grades 11 and 12.
The NLCC courses will be taught by the Lasallian Core Curriculum Institute (LCCI). The group will not be assigned to any colleges or schools, and will be having their own respective goals and objectives. Moreover, faculty members who will join the institute will be entitled to have joint appointments. For instance, a professor may teach both under the Psychology Department and the LCCI.
The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world to adopt the K to 12 program. This also means that the country is among the last to upgrade its college courses as a response to the higher form of education in high school. Nevertheless, the transition bodes well for the country in the coming years as students will become more equipped and prepared in the future.