In addition to the regular on campus Colleges offering degreed programs at the Central Luzon State University (i.e. College of Engineering, College of Agriculture, etc.), it has also another academic unit called the Open University (OU) that offers undergraduate and graduate programs for non-traditional students. The CLSU-OU was created in 1997 by the CLSU Board of Regents to provide educational opportunities in degree and non-degree programs to individuals aspiring for higher education who are unable to avail of the traditional mode of instructions.
Dr. Flor Amor Monta, Dean of the CLSU Open University, explained that distance education is a mode of education delivery whereby teacher and learner are separated in time and space, and instruction is delivered through specially designed materials and methods using appropriate technologies and supported by organizational and administrative structures and arrangements.
The current program offerings include doctoral programs in rural development and development education; masteral programs in renewable energy, environment, management and business administration; and undergraduate programs in business administration and accounting technology.
Dr. Monta said "We have students enrolled from the different parts of the world including ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines), Middle East (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Africa (Congo, Ivory Coast and Uganda) and North America (USA-California).”
Among many prominent local alumni and leaders include Dr. Nicomedes Eleazar, Director of Agricultural Research, Department of Agriculture; Dr. Robert Estioko, Retired Vice-Admiral of the Philippine Navy; and Mr. Ruben Miranda, former Acting Executive Director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute.
Dr. Leo Sicat, a newly elected member of CLSUIAAI Board of Directors is a recent graduate of the Open University Program. Dr. Sicat obtained his PhD degree in Rural Development in November 2012. (See related article on page 7). Another CLSUIAAI supporter Engr. Juanito del Rosario, P.E. from San Diego California is currently enrolled under the OU program and expects to finish his PhD degree in 2014. Engr. Del Rosario is a retired Commander of the US Navy and presently works as a consulting engineer for a southern California firm. He was also a former agricultural engineering student at CLSU before joining the US Navy in 1969.
On January 20, 2012, 35 students with BS in Business Management and BA degrees who are all residents of Macau graduated under the joint CLSU-OU and Macau Business Management Educational Centre. The graduation ceremonies were held in Macau.
According Dr. Monta, the vision of the CLSU-OU is to be a leading global distance education provider in teacher education, rural development, renewable energy, the arts, environmental management, the sciences, and business for the next ten years. He stated “The Open U will have the most number of working and functional international partnerships among the nine-degree academic units of CLSU as we celebrate CLSU’s Golden Anniversary as a university in June 2014.”
Dr. Monta has been the Dean of Open University since its inception. Dr. Monta was chosen as Outstanding Official for 2012 by the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Committee for meritorious leadership and accomplishments as Dean of the Open University.