Over the past three years, Asia Pacific College (APC) has been a trailblazer among other schools specializing in information technology (IT) as it initiated some of the top academic programs of Microsoft Philippines.
Formed by SM Foundation and IBM Philippines in 1991, APC first partnered with Microsoft in 2013 to make their systems more innovative and efficient. By pioneering Microsoft’s latest academic solutions for both faculty and students, the school was able to upgrade their quality of education and offer new ways of learning IT.
Jojo Castillo, Director of APC’s IT Resources Office, enumerated the many ways their school benefitted from partnering with the technology giant. In response to the new K-12 curriculum being adopted by educational institutions in the Philippines, Microsoft launched in August 2015 a groundbreaking collaboration for the enhancement of APC’s Senior High School curriculum. “Through this collaboration, Microsoft applications and learning resources will be integrated in our Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Accountancy, Business, and Management (ABM) strands,” Castillo explained.
Microsoft is proud to have found a reliable partner in APC, as the company continuous to create solutions to help inspire teachers and students and realize their full potential. Through this curriculum piloted in APC, students acquire valuable skills on the use and creation of technology in business that increase their employability once they join the now technology-driven workforce.
“We believe that empowered students will have an enriched mind to prepare him for today’s challenges, and an empowered teacher will help mold students for a lifetime,” said Karrie Ilagan, Microsoft Philippines General Manager.
Being the first to integrate the collaborated curriculum, APC’s Senior High School students have the opportunity to acquire Microsoft Certifications on top of their High School Diploma.
Similar to the curriculum integration, APC was one of the first colleges to adapt to Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) several years ago.
“Under the partnership, students were able to use the early versions of Microsoft programs in classes, such as Visual Studio,” Castillo detailed. “Because APC was also given access to back-end software, new subjects which taught Microsoft Windows NT OSes were also integrated into the curriculum for students to understand the system thoroughly.”
Aside from equipping students, the MSDNAA program APC faculty members are now empowered with a deeper and better understanding of Microsoft technologies provided by the access to the vast and rich depository of data and information.
The academic institution is one of the early adopters of acquiring Microsoft licenses via the Open Value Subscription – Education for Enrollment Solution, which installs the latest Windows desktop OS in all of the school’s computers.
“This was a major technology upgrade for everyone in the school who was merely running the OS which was bundled with the PC that it came with. In terms of technical support, APC’s IT support team now only has to worry about one version of OS at a time,” he added.
When Microsoft Office 365 for EDUC first came out in 2013, APC was one of the schools that pioneered having the system for both students and teachers. “The key points for APC’s decision to adopt Microsoft Office 365 for Education were first, to stay true to APC’s mission of providing the academic community with industry-accepted software tools for learning and second, to get Microsoft Office to the hands of the APC community for free,” Castillo shared.
Microsoft Office 365 for EDUC was also APC’s introduction to the Cloud. In just a few years, the school was able to benefit a lot from cloud-based service, thus improving its best-effort performance in running its own email system.
“The management and administration teams now have a better understanding and feel of cloud-based technologies and have adjusted its corporate strategies and investments accordingly,” Castillo said.
APC is one of the original partners of Microsoft’s IT Academy program launched a few years back. “With the learning materials in the MS IT Academy website and the exam vouchers for the Microsoft Technology Associate exams, APC has produced around 200 certified Microsoft Technology Associates,” Castillo boasted.
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About Microsoft Philippines
Microsoft Philippines, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based Microsoft Corporation, was established in August 30, 1995. As the world’s leading software provider, Microsoft strives to produce innovative products that meet the customers’ evolving needs.
With its vision of “Empowering people through great software – anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” Microsoft Philippines conducts business through its network of more than 1,600 partners and resellers.
The mission of the company – “To enable people and business throughout the world to realize their full potential” – is evident in the numerous citizenship programs it runs in the Philippines. In the past six years, more than 100 million pesos have been invested into Partners In Learning, where 40,000 teachers and 3.2 million students have been trained to use the latest in technology to improve the learning process in public school.