A Dream Come True at 46

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Souvenir Photo before the graduation program starts.

 

(How I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree from a Prestigious University Back Home in Less than a Year While Working in Thailand).

From 1992 to 2013, Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) has produced more than 7,000 graduates from different accredited universities and colleges according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the government agency who is administering this special education program of the government in the Philippines. This Executive Order No. 330 signed by then Fidel V. Ramos is perhaps one of the most significant and relevant signed by a Chief Executive in the country. Created to give chance to undergraduates to finish college based on their skills, character, knowledge and work experience without hampering their current work schedule.

Why I am sharing this?

This is your chance now working women (and men) to finish what you have started or start what you should have done. I know there are reasons why you were not able to finish your four-year course. Either you need to stop and work or untimely marriage (like me).

At 18, my new family became my instant subject as a young housewife. Motherhood was not only my practicum but became my permanent full-time career for 20 years. However, realizing the hardships of being a solo parent, I decided to resign from my post as Administrative Aide VI from our local government unit to work abroad. I applied different jobs and even though I am fortunate, I had also my struggles in finding it and made me realized the importance of having a bachelor’s degree. These prompted me to decide to pursue my long -keep dream:

1.Empowerment/ Career Advancement- One of the reason I decided to leave my job for 10 years in the local government back home is discouragement. Yes, in my mind I will retire with the same job title I have now because I cannot be promoted. I cannot apply to positions with higher salary grade I believed I am qualified based on knowledge and experience. Adhering to the rules and regulations implemented by the Civil Service Commission, one must have a degree and with Civil Service Eligibility. I got mine but Sub-proof limited to Technical Position as I obtained it through my TESDA Encoder II equivalency. I am no longer connected in the LGU but having my bachelor’s degree while here in a foreign land, I believed would give me confidence to apply for a job I believed I am fitted to with a salary that will commensurate my capacity. Also,anywhere in the world college degree is the first requirement if you apply in companies especially if you aim for higher position.

2. Set an Example- I want to set an example not only to my grandchildren but also to women that there is no late in education and the importance of perseverance. It is really difficult combining work and schooling and the financial requirements but I motivated and challenged myself that in every problem there is a solution. We must not stop dreaming and must not stop working for our dreams.

3. Competitive- To be able to catch with young minds and latest innovations such as in office operations, I need to increase my knowledge. Well, I love reading but it is not enough. My brain needs additional information to boost self-confidence especially at work. At my age now and with many new inventions and modern resources, I need to be updated and by pursuing my college education, I am certain I can learn more.

After pondering, I sought assistance from DLDP Consultancy, a Bangkok based Education Consulting Agency established by Filipinos also. All the requirements were submitted to the Agency since they are the ones who coordinated with the University of Baguio. The process was not that easy aside from the tuition fee to consider, the documents need to be completed including the pre-assessment tasks given by the Deans but because we were assisted by DLDP, the loads became lighter. After submitting all the documents (stage 1 &2) final assessment (stage 3) came. Validation of my requirements for qualification through Skype was done (as mentioned, no need to have personal appearance) by the panel of Deans led by Ma’am Tess, Director of UB ETEEAP and after deliberation, I was accepted and my journey started. Actually, I first applied for a University in Davao City but they required me to go home for the Final Assessment which I declined (no budget for the ticket). Under UB-ETEEAP Program, personal appearance is not required since the program addresses the prime reason why an individual cannot study in traditional method. For me, I was on the right track when I chose University of Baguio under ETEEAP through DLDP Consultancy to fulfill my dream. UB-ETEEAP is so designed to working individuals who want to finish tertiary education especially Overseas workers:

1.Deans are there not only to educate students but understand the situation which is very important to overseas worker like me.

2.Training and work experience are carefully validated and verified but an advantage to applicant to earn more credited subjects; I have got 10 years in government service and this helped me a lot;

3.The modules or tasks are given one at a time so I did not feel any pressure because I had my deadline when to submit;
4.DLDP assisted me in my tasks such as reviewing my essays and sending reminders;

5.I do not need to spend time and money in going to school or institution because the program offers modular and non-attendance. I have my deadline and if I have questions or my answers need revision, DLDP coordinates between me and the Deans;

6.Most of all, the tuition fee is lower compared to other affiliated colleges and universities especially institutions operating outside the country.

My job functions for 10 years as Administrative Aide VI of the LGU were credited as well as my TESDA Certificate (yes, so attend any free training now) and other government sponsored training and work shop. Also, my subjects from Brokenshire College, the last school I attended were also counted, and my work experience here in Thailand as Customer Support was included in the validation and credited.

Self-discipline (no Facebook) was imposed by me and I filled my cup with overflowing determination and constant prayers. After my office work at 5, I am at Chamsuree Square writing my tasks as this place has space on the ground floor intended for studying, air conditioned and for free. My brain functions if I am comfortable. If needed, I will go to Terminal 21 (one of Bangkok’s best shopping mall) to use free wi-fi as my prepaid package cannot open Google especially if it is nearly to expire. I also conducted interviews to personnel for my subject in my thesis which is Sunrise Tacos. Carrying the heavy laptop which I only borrowed from my friend everyday did not cause me to surrender, even the ten pages per task for my major (Operations Management). In some cases, it cannot be avoided tasks are submitted late. Most of all, the financial aspect but the Lord is good all the time. He showed me the way where to go and whom to go.

In less than a year, I finished my tasks and at 46, I graduated last May 28, 2016 at the University of Baguio-this time I need to go home to feel the moment long I have been dreaming of. My dream of accepting my college diploma wearing black toga turned into a reality. I was so emotional on that day because I remember my late parents who had high expectations on me. I know I failed them and on that day, I wanted them to feel they are proud of me and tell them I am not a failure.

Looking back, maybe everyone thought that I could not finish college anymore because of obvious reasons; married, children needs to send to school first and financial incapacity. Some said I am too old and too late to continue college. True, but as years went by, my dream to earn a degree became my desire. For me, it is my legacy not only that piece of Diploma but instilled in us the importance of having courage and believing in ourselves and trust on Him in every thing our hearts desire.

It may take years of struggle especially if you have your own family that you need to consider first than yourself. Just live things the way it should be and always look for the opportunity in every situation and be patient.

Below are the lists of requirements I submitted to DLDP Consultancy, Samutprakhan, Thailand (visit: DLDP Consultancy Facebook). Hope this guide may of help to your application and like me fulfill your dreams as well:

1.Filled Application Form from UB-ETEEAP
2.Service Record from the LGU (to certify I have minimum 5 year- experience)
3.School Records from last school attended
4.Recommendation from my new Employer
5.Employment Certification from my former Employer
6.IELTS Certificate (or any of your Eligibility, if you have only)
7.Certification of my job descriptions signed by my former Department Head in the LGU
8.Certificates of Training (Civil Service Commission, TESDA, Department of Agriculture, DILG Write shop)
9.Certificate of Awards (Annual Report and Barangay Development Plan Preparation)
10.Certificate as Volunteer

If you need additional info apart from the above, kindly drop a comment and I would love to share info based from my experience.

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