BAGUIO CITY–Thirty-nine seminarians (28 neophytes and 11 oldphytes) arrived at Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary last July 8, two full weeks ahead of the scheduled arrival of the rest of the community, to begin an enhancement program in their academic formation.
The Short-term Recoletos Enhancement and Enrichment Program (STREEP), scheduled on July 10-29, offers crash course on philosophy, language and communication, manners and research.
“Our main purpose for the enhancement program is to help our returning seminarians who are having difficulty in their studies,” said seminary Prefect of Discipline Fr. Bob Cabanag, OAR.
“For newcomers, however, this is a bridging program for them as they leave the outside world for the seminary formation,” he added.
The enhancement program is handled by competent volunteer lay collaborators of the seminary and conducted Monday through Friday.
Dr. Marilyn Balmeo, who handles professional education and research subjects, said this academic year is the first time that the seminary offers an enhancement program on research.
“This is the new thrust of CHED (Commission on Higher Education) that we make our curriculum outcomes based and research based,” she said.
Dr. Balmeo said the seminary initiative really helps seminarians better prepare for the rigors of the academic year ahead. Introducing research as early as the enhancement program, moreover, helps seminarians in their thesis subjects later on, she added.
“This is a laudable move by the seminary,” she said. “Kasi kung sa fourth year na sila umpisa mag-research, ang hirap.”
Returning seminarians Mark Audrey Balicoco (grade 12) and Neil Medenilla (2nd year college) said the enhancement program is a big help to them.
“Nakakatulong para ma-recall yung naituro na sa amin at ma-deepen ang aming kaalaman sa mga subject matters,” Balicoco said.
“The program helps me enhance my knowledge on the lessons I must know and to develop myself academically so that I won’t have a hard time in my studies,” Medenilla added.
Incoming grade 11 seminarian Almario Brigoli, for his part, said the program gives him a running start in his academic formation.
“Makatabang ni nako nga naa koy advantage nga magamit for the incoming school year,” he said.
The rest of the community members of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary will be reporting back to formation on July 22. Classes will begin in August.