Ateneo’s Master in Public Management goes to Vigan
The excitement was palpable at the Vigan Culture and Trade Center as the city’s employees gathered on February 4, 2017. Housing artifacts from the city’s Spanish colonial history, the center is usually the site of the local government’s important events.
So it was only right that the center serve as the venue for the day’s momentous occasion: the first day of class for the Ateneo School of Government’s Master in Public Management (MPM) program.
The MPM program, first introduced to the public in 1998, is designed to help build one’s competencies in leadership, government, and public management. It is divided into 5 core courses, 6 elective courses, and 2 integrative courses which may be completed in 18 months.
For their culminating activity, MPM students are required to submit a Governance Innovation Report—a paper on a governance-related topic or concern in their own agency.
The courses aim to provide students with an opportunity to maximize their exposure to public management, governance and public policy. Additionally, students get to synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills they gained during their MPM coursework.
The 23 students, working in various Vigan local government units, will have to maintain the same academic rigor as those in ASoGs’ standard MPM program. ASoG’s faculty will mentor the students as they become effective leaders in solving public issues.
“I believe in people’s capacity to make this country better. I believe 23 people can change an entire city. We believe in your capacity to make Vigan better,” said Mark Lawrence Cruz during the class. Cruz was lecturer for its “Ethics, Power, and Accountability” subject, a core course.
With that, the class was off to a good start. Jo-Anne Margarita Gutierrez, a Public Relations and Information Officer, had high expectations from the program.
“It has been my dream to get a master’s degree,” she said. Work and 5 kids, however, put that dream on hold until she learned about the scholarship offered by the Vigan city government.
“I really believe that the MPM program will expand my knowledge. This is just the first day of class but I have already learned a lot,” she said. Gutierrez has been working for the city government for 8 years now. “This program is really good for government employees like me. There are already some things that I think we can do in our local government.”
Another student who was excited about the program is John Noel Andaya. Andaya, the City Tourism and Investment Officer, believed that taking the MPM program would foster his personal growth as a public servant.
“Ateneo has a reputation of giving excellent education to its students,” he said. Like Gutierrez, he wanted to pursue masteral studies but he was worried that his work schedule might interfere with his studies. “We are on call on weekends so I tried to push it back.” When he learned that his supervisors would allow flexible time should anyone from their office get into the MPM program, he immediately grabbed the opportunity.
“This is really for my personal growth. I’m very interested in public management and I know that this program will help me gain knowledge and widen my skills.”
This is not the first time that ASoG offered its MPM program outside its Loyola Heights campus. MPM had previously been offered in Mindoro, La Union, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Iloilo, and Marawi City.