CNU acquires three-star rating in QS Stars

Cebu Normal University (CNU) moves forward with its vision as it was hailed as a Three (3) Stars Institution by the Quacquarelli Symond (QS) Stars Rating System in March 2023.
The leading multidisciplinary research university of education’s three (3) out of five (5) stars rating means that CNU is a “well-recognised [institution] nationally and may have also begun to attract international recognition.”
The QS Stars rating system aims to help students identify the best universities that will fit their needs in a particular topic. Rather than ranking HEIs, they give ratings as they believe that each university is different and possesses distinct strengths.
Moreover, they utilize three (3) criteria which consist of several categories when rating universities fairly: (1) the core criteria categories focus on the components of a university; (2) the advanced criteria categories look at a university with a solid foundation; and (3) specialist criteria categories look intently at an institution’s areas of specialization.
QS Stars is one of the “world’s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education institutions (HEIs).” §
Words by Renee Ross Villariasa
Photo grabbed from CNU Facebook page

Excelsior: Dayagbil and Her ‘Ever Upward’ Direction

Under the leading lights of the outgoing university president, Cebu Normal University (CNU) had achieved a good number of recognitions and awards which catapulted the university’s name to top excellence. Crimson and gold glimmered during Dr. Filomena T. Dayagbil’s four-year term as a product of purposeful collaboration between the administration and stakeholders.


To formalize the conclusion of her term, an event held at the CNU grounds kicked off last April 29, 2021 and was physically attended by the CNU administrative council officials and members. Distant Normalites, on the other hand, had their eyes on screen as the event was broadcasted simultaneously on the university’s Facebook page.


Dr. Laurence Garcia, Chairman of the End-of-Report Portfolio, noted in his welcome remarks that this was “a day to be grateful to the administration that nurtured us even amid the trying times”.


While the event purposed to highlight Dayagbil’s report on her stay as the State University and College (SUC) President III of CNU, she desired to honor and recognize first those who have contributed to the achievement of the university’s strategic directions; thus, awarding plaques of appreciation to partner organizations, agencies, and individuals who helped in shaping the glory of CNU.


On her portfolio report and message, Dayagbil shared that she was reminded of the ending part of her investiture speech four years ago. “


As your president, it is my pleasure to partner with you and work with you on something that is bigger than any of us, an ongoing vision to chart the course for CNU to excel in innovative teaching and learning, cutting edge research, and relevant partnerships,” she repeated.


Dayagbil continued, “Fast forward today, as my presidency ends, I could proudly say that with your partnerships, we successfully accomplished what we have promised, achieving one milestone after another, in leaps and bounds.”


Representing her end-of-term report as “excelsior”, a Latin word and a catchphrase used by famous comic book writer Stan Lee, this described the entire CNU community’s collective efforts through the years, attaining noteworthy achievements to its five strategic directions: (1) sustaining quality and relevance; (2) enhancing research, development, and innovation; (3) expanding community engagement and linkages; (4) digitization and automation of operations; and (5) maximizing resource generation and utilization.


As she ended her speech, the outgoing president remarked, “Excelsior! Onward, Cebu Normal University!”


Words by Mark Aleson Sanico

Screenshots by Retlyn Ereca Ceballos

CNU flexible learning to get boost, thanks to CHED grants

Cebu Normal University is set to receive P7 million worth of grants from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that would enable the university to implement three projects.

Two of these projects focus on improving flexible learning — the Flexible Learning Modality Training for Teacher Educators (FLMTTEd) with an allocation of over P2.5 million and the Flexible Instructional Materials Development for Teacher Educators (FIMDTEd) which has been earmarked P1.8 million.

The third project, Developing Global Filipino Teachers (DGFT), has been allocated a budget of P2.6 million. It aims to equip teachers with the needed pedagogical and socio-cultural competencies as global educators.

Flexible learning

Amid the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNU has been actively pursuing projects meant to help convert threats and challenges to opportunities.

In a survey conducted by the university, educators expressed the need to reshape their lessons to include provisions for flexible learning modalities to meet the changing educational landscape brought about by COVID-19.

Thus, FLMTTEd aims to train faculty members of teacher education institutions on effective implementation of flexible learning modalities in the teaching learning processes in the new normal. 

To achieve this, CNU has forged partnerships with Cebu Technological University-Tuburan Campus and Leyte Normal University.

On the other hand, FIMDTEd aims to develop research-based flexible instructional materials such as modules for the professional education courses in teacher education.

These will be utilized by educators, specifically those who are teaching in local colleges within Central Visayas.

The flexible instructional package for a professional education course includes lectures, readings, worktext, problem-based activities, and other resources that can be used in both face-to-face and online classrooms.

Going global

Meanwhile, the DGFT program of the CNU College of Teacher Education seeks to help Filipino educators in Cambodia increase their cultural awareness to address global change. This, as schools have increasingly become more culturally diverse.

It also aims to help the educators develop their teaching skills to create a learning setting wherein students respect each other, value diversity, and collaborate effectively.

The program is set to conduct intensive review classes, hands-on trainings on varied learning modalities and practice exercises to be done in Cambodia and in the Philippines.

With this program, teachers are expected to acquire the needed competencies as global educators, and pass the licensure examination at the same time. –/Chiel Martina Y. Condor/JMD

CNU Balamban constructs a 3-story building

Cebu Normal University (CNU) Balamban Campus started the construction of its three-story building to accommodate its students’ growing population.

The new building will be erected on the left side of the CNU Balamban main building near the school’s fence. 

The three-story building will have 12 classrooms with four classrooms in each floor. The 3rd floor will also house two laboratories. 

According to CNU Balamban Campus Director Dr. Levi Atibula, the new building was planned two years ago. He said that it answers the need for more classrooms with the growing population of students on the campus.
Atibula, in a Facebook post last September 3, 2020, showed sample photos or architectural perspectives of what the three-story building would look like.

He also thanked Deputy Speaker and Congressman of the 3rd District of Cebu Pablo John Garcia who sponsored its budget, and Architect Leo Edwin Mutia for the exterior design of the building.  
Garcia allocated a budget of P25 million for the three-story building. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the first CNU Balamban building allocating a budget of P10 million for its construction. 

He has also given educational assistance to students in the 3rd District of Cebu wherein some Normalite students in Balamban are beneficiaries.  
Garcia was recently invited as the Commencement Speaker during the 12th Commencement Rites of CNU Balamban on August 24, 2020, where he shared words of wisdom and encouragement to the graduates. 
Read related article: [CNU Balamban slays first virtual graduation ceremony]
The construction of the CNU Balamban three-story building started last August 22, 2020.
Atibula said that a construction of a driveway with a covered pathway will be the next project of the campus which is expected to begin next year. (JDF) 

CNU Balamban slays first virtual graduation ceremony

“Your graduation while virtual is no less real and your achievement, no less monumental. In fact, it is a testament to your collective resilience and this institutions’ ability to quickly adapt to changing realities.”

This is what Deputy Speaker and Congressman Pablo John Garcia said when he gave his message on the 12th Commencement Rites of Cebu Normal University (CNU) Balamban Campus as the Commencement Speaker.

CNU Balamban Campus held its graduation ceremony virtually with the theme, Thriving, Leading, and Serving in the New Normal which was live-streamed last Monday, August 24 at the CNU Facebook page formally ending the AY 2019-2020. 

43 graduates comprised Batch 2020 of CNU Balamban wherein three finished Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English and 40 finished Bachelor of Tourism Management.   

“The diploma that you receive from this institution is merely a measure of how far you have come. It should not limit how far you’re yet capable of going and what you’re capable of achieving,” Garcia said to the graduates.

He said that the past six months of quarantine brought by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cannot stop the people’s thirst, need, and the ability to gain knowledge. 

“Today almost everything you need is literally at the tip of your fingers. Use this advantage to navigate the new realities in the new normal, to help you along your chosen path or if that doesn’t work out as it sometimes won’t, to prepare you for a path you never thought you would but might need to take,” he said.  

“Seek knowledge, but know that knowledge is never enough for if there is a wisdom that this epidemic has shown us, it is this: that in order to survive in this world, we need each other and we cannot live without human relationships,” Garcia said. 

He said that it is ironic when social and physical distancing was imposed, people realized how closely interrelated and inexplicably linked all are. 

“Remember then that human relationships are what really matter – the people we meet and have an impact in our lives and in whose lives we should strive to make a positive impact,” he said.  

“The epidemic has taught us that no matter what we have reached and no matter what we have achieved life is meaningless unless it is offered for something bigger than ourselves and our interests,” Garcia added. 

He then challenged the graduates to use the knowledge they acquired to create a positive impact on society. 

“Doing the smallest things in the service of a bigger cause makes an impact in this word. The final challenge, therefore, is to dedicate the education you have received from this fine institution to making a positive impact in this world,” Garcia said. 

The pronouncement of graduation was made by the University and Board Secretary Dr. Michelle Mae Olvido. CNU Balamban Campus Director Dr. Levi Atibula presented the candidates for graduation and their degrees were conferred by CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil.   

The University pledge was led by Human Resource Management Officer Mrs. Mary Margaret Cornejo and the Alumni oath was led by the Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Association, Inc. (FCNUAAI) President Dr. Ramir Uytico.

The virtual commencement rites ended with the singing of the CNU hymn and the recessional.

A full copy of the 12th CNU Balamban Commencement Rites can be viewed at the official YouTube channel of the University. (JDF)

CNU alumni share insights on navigating the new normal

Insights on how to address uncharted challenges brought by the new normal were discussed by three Cebu Normal University (CNU) alumni in North America through a webinar on three distinct topics of their expertise. 

The session was called Navigating the New Normal (3Ns): A Virtual Colloquium which was live-streamed in the CNU Facebook page last Saturday, August 15.  

These CNU alumni are Dr. Rhigel Jay Tan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of iCarePsychiatry; Atty. Alberto Montefalcon Jr., Immigration Attorney of Montefalcon Law Offices in the USA and the Philippines; and Dr. Nerissa Linell Joie Calub, Founder and CEO of Pathways Education Consultancy. 

Tan talked about Emotional Resilience and Mental Wellness in a Global Pandemic, Montefalcon discussed on Real or Really Fake News: Navigating through the Social Media Pandemic, while Calub shared insights on The 21st Century Professionals in Extraordinary Disruptions. 

The webinar was brought by the Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Associations, Inc. (FCNUAAI) in collaboration with CNU and the CNU Alumni in North America.

FCNUAAI President Dr. Ramir Uytico said that CNU has produced brilliant individuals who are doing great in their respective fields of endeavor and the virtual colloquium emphasizes how the alumni care for the Normalite community as one big family. 

CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil said that the University is faced with a great challenge on work-from-home and learning continuity, but what is so motivating in these not so ordinary times is the extraordinary responses in the academic community. 

“With the work combined forces, we are able to bring normalcy in all our operations,” she said.

Dayagbil said that although the alumni have gone their separate ways to pursue their dreams, their roots in this institution are deeply seated and entangled that is why they still connect, help, and serve the alma mater in any way they can.

Tan who shared about mental health stressed that depression is a real illness and it is not about lack of strength, lack of faith, or perhaps just a weak personality.

He said that people who undergo crisis have to undergo the different stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression or sadness, and acceptance to facilitate optimism.

He added that it is common during crises that a person’s emotion, behavior, way of thinking, and activities of daily living change. 

“These are normal reactions that normal people will experience in an abnormal event such as the pandemic,” Tan said. 

He said that people have the power and ability to be mentally resilient. People just have to practice and acknowledge it.

“We just don’t allow our crisis to cover us up and then forget what we can do.” he said. 

Montefalcon who discussed fake news distinguished it from opinion. He said that fake news can easily fall into the Revised Penal Code definition of a crime.

He shared that the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 expanded how libel may be committed by defining cyber libel as one done by way of a computer system.

Montefalcon said that checking faulty spelling, grammar, and punctuation; identifying the news organization; looking for visual clues; identifying and knowing the reputation of the author are some ways to detect fake news. 

“Fake news encourages hatred, hatred breeds division,” he said.

Montefalcon advises verifying sources by searching other articles containing the subject matter. 

He also shared a bonus video afterward on virtual meeting etiquette. 

Calub, the last of the three presenters compiled uplifting words and videos stating that the 21st-century professionals are not on their own in dealing with the extraordinary disruptions.

“There is no way to escape the shift in perspective that the life-changing disruptions have brought in our midst. Let’s take advantage of what the crossroads can offer to us,” she said. 

“Do not doubt yourself. It is only you who can put premium in the value of your life in spite of the uncertainties,” she added.  

She encourages all to put meaning in what we do for ourselves, our families, friends, colleagues, communities, and the world.

She ended her presentation honoring all frontliners for their courage and will to serve their respective communities. 

“CNU leads and cultivates significance in the community that we serve and CNU remains steadfast in our commitment to quality, excellence, and relevance. Indeed, we have countless reasons to be proud of the University,” Dayagbil said.

“Human and community interaction is essential to one’s quality of life even if it is in the middle of the global pandemic. For this reason, I believe we’re all extremely blessed and grateful to have this virtual colloquium,” CNU Presidential Assistant for Alumni Affairs Dr. Glen Pesole said.

Dayagbil calls all CNU alumni to continue helping the mandate of the institution through their expertise and good work. She also asks for their support by helping the University connect with stakeholders, protecting the integrity of their alma mater, and by maintaining an attitude of gratitude. 

“In these volatile and uncertain times, we become stronger because we know that you are there to support our alma mater,” Dayagbil said to all CNU alumni. (JDF)

CNU’s instructional delivery mode is evidence-informed

The decision of Cebu Normal University (CNU) to adopt the Flexible Teaching and Learning Delivery as its instructional delivery mode this upcoming opening of classes is evidence-informed.  

This is what Vice-President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Dr. Daisy Palompon said.

Read related article: [CNU adopts flexible teaching and learning delivery]

She said that the decision came out from the surveys and series of consultations with student leaders, faculty, parents, alumni, and partner agencies which the University conducted last April to May 2020 as part of the scenario analysis that led to the reframing of the University’s teaching and learning.   

Palompon also said that the decision was not solely decided upon by the Administrative Council but also by the Academic Council of the University and approved by the CNU Board of Regents. 

The undergraduates are given online and offline distance learning options, while the Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) and Graduate School (GS) will be using online distance learning for the upcoming school year.

“However, the ILS is not purely online as there are more sessions on asynchronous learning,” Palompon said referring to the textbooks that are available also as reference for learning. 

She said that for ILS, a consultation with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) through Mr. Renan Elcullada, ILS Supervisor was conducted. A proposal on the mode of learning the parents wish to have for their children was then submitted to the University through the Administrative Council. 

She said that as for GS, the online mode was already implemented starting March 2020 when classes were suspended due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). 

“Most of the GS students are part-time students since their mainline is their respective work and most of the students are also outside Cebu City,” she said. 

“The online learning will address their needs to continue advanced education while on their current location and travel would not be needed,” Palompon added.

Palompon also confirmed that the GS is also open to students across the country since the classes will be conducted online.

“The online mode of learning is implemented while the circumstances will not allow us to have face-to-face classes especially in the ILS. For the GS, our long-term plan is to really offer purely online programs so that students will still have options whether they will go for synchronous or asynchronous learning platforms,” she said.

“There is what we call as finding the silver lining despite all the chaos we are in. It has been our plan in the University to institutionalize the blended and pure online learning platform to cater to the current learning needs and styles of our new generation of learners. We have started doing it, but we were cautious in fully implementing it,” Palompon said.

She said that the crisis we are in provides the urgency to put these plans in place for actual implementation. (JDF)