A screenshot from the virtual Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between Glenville State College and Southern Luzon State University on February 22. Pictured are: (top, l-r) Dr. Rico Gazal, Dr. Cynthia L. Payonga, Dr. Joanna Paula E. Verano, and Dr. Mari Jane A. Lee; (bottom, l-r) Dr. Mari Clements, Dr. Mark Manchin, Dr. Dwight Heaster, Dr. Amalia E. Almazol, Dr. Doracie B. Zoleta-Nantes, and Dr. Gondelina A. Radovan. / Photo courtesy GSC

Glenville State College, Southern Luzon State University sign memorandum of understanding

GLENVILLE, WV – Officials from Glenville State College (GSC) and Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) in the Philippines have inked an agreement toward academic exchange between the two institutions.

Through mutual cooperation in teaching and research, the two schools plan to exchange faculty for joint research activities, exchange students for research and study, participate in academic meetings, seminars, and special short-term projects, exchange academic materials, provide professional training for scholars, and jointly develop Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) modules.

Administrators, faculty, and staff from Glenville State and SLSU came together in a virtual meeting on February 22 to formalize the Memorandum of Understanding.

“I’m excited about this opportunity – in particular for our students to interact with their international counterparts at SLSU. Many of our students, particularly in central West Virginia, come from smaller schools and have not had the opportunity to travel. I think that aspect will be just one of the great things for us as part of this agreement. We thank Dr. Nantes for joining us in this new venture and look forward to a great relationship,” said Glenville State College President Dr. Mark Manchin.

“I am very encouraged and I want to extend our appreciation for this program. This exchange of opportunities between our students to learn from each other and to discover, not only the intricacies, but the wonders associated with the different ecosystems that are the foundation of our economic development. I am confident that our collaboration will expand and, in the process, allow our students to learn more and expand their horizons and be ready, shall we say, to be more open to the positive things that come of collaborative academic and intercultural discussions. I consider this partnership as a blessing for our students and also for our faculty members who are involved in this initiative,” said Southern Luzon State University President Dr. Doracie B. Zoleta-Nantes.

GSC and SLSU first partnered in Fall 2019 by offering a virtual learning module that connected students from different parts of the world to work together on a common class project as part of the course requirements. This virtual learning module was integrated into three courses from three academic institutions located in three countries, Glenville State in the USA, SLSU in Lucban, Quezon, Philippines, and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) in Johor, Malaysia. GSC and UTHM signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2018.

“In 2019 I partnered with Dr. Amalia Esclanda Almazol from SLSU and Dr. Alona Linatoc from UTHM. We designed the module to include common activities and projects that address the learning outcomes of our individual courses. The activities were designed to elicit interactions among our students. Our students enjoyed learning from each other, understanding different cultures, and learning about the unique forest ecosystems from each country,” said Dr. Rico Gazal, Chair of the Department of Land Resources. “This agreement aims to foster a stronger partnership between the two institutions by creating more opportunities for faculty, student and virtual exchanges.”

COIL courses differ from online learning courses because the focus is on cultural exchange, whereas traditional online courses generally focus on course content, and students interact very little with each other. Under COIL, the partner teachers work together to develop collaborative modules that help meet the goals of the individual courses while also enriching the cultural awareness of students enrolled in the courses.

For more information about the programs of the Department of Land Resources at Glenville State College, contact the Department of Land Resources at Land.Resources@glenville.edu or (304) 462-6370.

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