Dual degrees and their variants

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IN the early 50’s, the Bachelor of Arts/Science degrees were known as general AB/BS (Bachelor of Arts/Science). Both degrees did not require a major. When our higher education institutions (HEI’s) began hiring liberal arts graduates to teach, the Department of Education then directed HEI’s to require majors for the AB/BS degrees and to include at least a 3-unit teaching course, such as The Teaching of History (for a major in History) or The Teaching of Mathematics (for a major in Mathematics) and so on.

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The general AB/BS degrees were later phased out; HEI’s began offering joint degrees in AB and Education lasting until the middle 70’s. These joint degrees were completed in five years as AB-BSE or AB-BSEEd/BEEd. Any major field in AB was accepted also as such in Bachelor in Secondary Education (BSE) — 36 units for social sciences majors and 42 units for sciences. For the joint degree in AB and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (later re-named as Bachelor in Elementary Education – BEEd), the requirements for a major in AB fulfilled those in BEEd except that one-half of said requirements should be integrated courses such as Social Science, General Science, English Language, Reading and Literature.

The 60’s saw many elementary education teachers who held only the Elementary Teachers certificate (ETC) returning to school in the late afternoon after their classes to enrol in BSEEd or BEEd – the new bachelor’s degree that fully qualified them for elementary school teaching. Since the middle 40’s to school year 53-54, the two-year Elementary Teacher’s Certificate (ETC) was then the educational qualification requirement. This certificate course concentrated on the professional education courses and had only a dearth of the general education. To qualify for better retirement terms, these ETC graduates took general education to complete the new BSEEd degree. I remember I had a class in literature in which my students were teachers mostly past their fifties and above taking up “BSEEd-inverted,” as the degree was then popularly known.

With the onset of internationalization in Philippine HEI’s, the term joint degrees, dual degrees have become popular. This leads me to look closely into this development in higher education. I am happy to say that this phenomenon is not really unique. We have had dual degrees much earlier than when the term internationalization became popular.

So let’s look into reliable web sources to have more information on the nature, trends, issues of joint, double or dual degrees. Our source says that a double-degree program is also known as a combined, conjoint, dual, or simultaneous or a concurrent degree program.< https:// en. wikipe dia.org/wiki/Double_degree>.

As internationalization programs became popular in HEI’s, terminology for parallel degrees has included “multiple, tri-national, joint, integrated, collaborative, international, consecutive, concurrent, co-tutelle, overlapping, conjoint, parallel, simultaneous, and common degrees.”<http://ecahe.eu/w/images/e/e6/Doubts_and_Dilemmas_with_Double_Degree_Programs.pdf> Two degrees, usually in the service of the other, are simultaneously enrolled either in the same university or in two different universities and which sometimes, are in different countries. Both degrees are completed in much less time compared to, than if taken separately. An example is a Law degree taken simultaneously with an MBA degree. In today’s very competitive world, an understanding of “regulatory frameworks, deal timelines, and other legal concepts along with leadership, management, business development, and negotiation abilities” are significantly important. “Business knowledge and skills are important to today’s lawyer just as the area of corporate law and legal knowledge is, to many business managers.” <http://lawschoolexpert.com /thinking-about-a-jdmba-joint-degree/>. Additionally, lawyers who expect to be in practice for themselves one day will need solid business skills to run their organizations. The two degrees complement one another very well.

Cotutelle (guardianship) is the French government’s mechanism for jointly conducted and jointly supervised doctoral programs with those of foreign universities especially those in Europe…” Such a candidature receives a doctoral award from each of the two participating institutions, with the student’s testamur and official academic record at each institution stating that the degree was obtained under a cotutelle agreement with the <named> institution.” <http://www.iml.uts.edu.au/manage-curriculum /documents/ cotutelle framework.pdf>

Let’s cite two examples of joint degrees from Philippine HEI’s. De La Salle University Graduate School of Business offers a dual degree program in law and management together with FEU-IL completed in five rather than in six years, if taken separately with a student earning both a Juris Doctor degree (JD) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) concurrently. “The DLSU provides a management education that prepares graduates for results-oriented decision-making” and FEU-IL “provides students with the legal and analytical tools needed to understand how law affects business and management decisions.” http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php/La_ Salle-FEU_MBA-JD_Program. Another example is that of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health which Adem pioneered in 2007 as “an innovative curriculum to form outstanding clinicians, dynamic leaders and social catalysts where graduates are conferred a joint MD-MBA with the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.” <http://m.ateneo.net/aps/asmph#sthash.0SiQKZ 9S.dpuf>

On the subject of “double” or “joint degrees,” let’s not confuse such combinations with double or dual majors for a single degree or two separate degrees, each degree having its own field of study acquired from partnering institutions. < Double _ degree> About joint/dual degrees, we were not behind in crafting decades ago such degree combinations. The AB and Education as joint degrees, have proven their worth especially in today’s interdisciplinary.

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Teresita Tanhueco-Tumapon, Ph.D., is one of the Philippines most accomplished educators and experts on institutional management in colleges and universities. Her studies have included not only education and pedagogy but also literature. She has studied not only in the topmost universities in the Philippines but also in Germany, Britain and Japan. She is now the Vice-President for External Relations and Internationalization of Liceo de Cagayan University (in Cagayan de Oro) after serving as its VP for Academic Affairs for six and a half years concurrent to her ten years as dean in the Graduate Studies of the same university. She holds a Lifetime Professional Achievement Award from the central office of the Commission on Higher Education.

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