Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Dr. Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison, Dean of the College of Computer Studies, Angeles University Foundation, Philippines.
Angeles University Foundation (AUF) is a private, Roman Catholic, non-profit higher education institution run by laypersons in Angeles City, Central Luzon, one of the leading growth regions in the Philippines. Located 66 kilometers north of Manila, Angeles City lies half an hour away from the Clark Special Economic Zone, home to numerous IT companies.
Though renowned for its School of Medicine, AUF’s College of Computer Studies leads Central Luzon in preparing students for bachelors’ degrees in Information Technology and in Computer Science. It has been recognized as a Center of Excellence in IT Education by the Commission on Higher Education.
In 2001, the college began to integrate Oracle Academy resources into its Information Technology and Computer Science curriculum.
Dr. Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison is Dean of the College of Computer Studies and has been in academia for more than 20 years. She earned a masters degree and PhD in Information Technology at Angeles University Foundation. She is a member of the Commission of Higher Education Regional Quality Assessment Team (RQAT) in Region 3 and an accreditor of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools and Colleges (PAASCU). Currently, she is the Vice-Chairman at Metro Clark ICT Council and President of the Association of Computing Education Deans and Program Heads in Region 3.
Oracle Academy: How did you get involved with Oracle Academy?
Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison: When I joined Angeles University Foundation as an instructor in 2000, we were just starting to partner with Oracle Academy. When I became Dean in 2007, I made sure to continue our partnership in terms of the integration of Oracle Academy resources with our curriculum, specifically in the field of database management and later, Java programming.
Today four faculty including myself impart all the database and Java courses to around 200 students per year. We begin with Java in the first year, followed by database management and programming in the second year.
It’s a great partnership with Oracle Academy, and it’s here to stay.
Oracle Academy: What is the overall impact of this partnership?
Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison: We are very happy to partner with Oracle Academy. I have the assurance that whatever we use now and down the line has been designed by Oracle and is recognized by industry standards. Integrating Oracle means we equip students with the skills that companies require, instead of developing our own courses.
Oracle Academy: Are you using the Oracle Academy Cloud Program?
Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison: Absolutely. We transitioned to cloud during the pandemic and later adopted the Oracle Gen 2 cloud. It has evolved enormously. What a difference from the days of downloading pdf materials and installing Oracle on our desktop! Now everything is in the cloud.
We are using all the simulation materials available through Oracle APEX, which provides a sandbox for students to create database apps. Mostly they use the exercises provided by Oracle Academy, but we also assign projects such as simple payroll or inventory systems. Last year, a group of students created an app for retrieval of misplaced personal belongings. Another developed a classroom management system for computer laboratories.
The cloud gives access to APEX, through which students follow Database Foundations, Database Design and Programming with SQL, Programming with PL/SQL and Oracle Application Express (APEX) Development Foundations.
Going forward, we are reviewing Oracle’s Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning materials to see how we can integrate them with our existing Data Science curriculum.
Oracle Academy: And do you use the Oracle Academy Member Hub?
Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison: We do, and when it arrived the faculty were excited by the great variety of instructor materials available at their fingertips. We used to organize training via webinars or face to face sessions, but now it’s all self-paced, on demand, continually updated on the Oracle Academy Member Hub ― no excuses for not being up to speed! Faculty members can easily access the materials and translate them to their classrooms.
In addition, our college is helping other universities to benefit from Oracle Academy teaching and learning resources.
Oracle Academy: Please tell us more…
Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison: One of AUF’s goals is to contribute to socio-economic growth in Central Luzon and to the Philippines at large. One strategy is to encourage other universities to follow our lead in developing computer science skills. AUF alone cannot provide the necessary manpower to meet the demands of both established companies and new investment.
This year I became president of the Association of Computing Education Deans and Program Heads Inc. (ACED.PH). ACED.PH comprises 50 institutions in Central Luzon that offer some type of computer science programs. AUF is working with ACED to help these schools to adopt Oracle. To date, 10 schools have signed up as Oracle Academy partners. Now, in conjunction with Oracle Academy, we are developing faculty training for five of these institutions. The aim is to ensure continuous integration and implementation of Oracle in their respective curriculum.
We are confident that this joint strategy will expand, and over time contribute to hugely boosting the workforce talent pool required by regional industry.
Oracle Academy: Terrific! And what work opportunities can graduates expect?
Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison: Our university is in Angeles City, just a short distance from Clark, a Special Economic Zone in Central Luzon. Clark is home to a large number of technology companies, mostly Australian and U.S. owned. The AUF Industry Internship Program regularly places students in three to five month internships at Clark-based companies, and usually they get job offers as a result.
Some get work overseas, in Singapore for example, and the positions they enter include mobile app developer, scrum master, web developer, dev ops engineer, network administrator, business analyst, DBA, and other roles.
Having Oracle on their resumés helps enormously.
Oracle Academy: And outside of your roles of Dean of the College and President of ACED, what other interests engage you?
Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison: I have three children, two boys and a girl, and I’m with them on their basketball games, karaoke television nights, and other activities. Travel is also a joy and, in the Philippines, there is so much to discover.
In addition, my husband and I have shared technology interests. He has a software company and together we travel to events, as far as Silicon Valley. Work and pleasure!
Thank you, Dr. Lilibeth Timbol-Cuison, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.