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Faculty member, Luz T. Nuera, of the Computer Engineering Department of the College of Engineering of Holy Name University attended a two-week immersion program last May 26 up to June 3, 2008. The immersion program is sponsored by Smart Communications, Inc. with its partnership with Holy Name University and other partner schools all over the Philippines. The first seven days of the immersion took place in Iloilo City and the rest were spent at the local Smart tower in Tagbilaran City.

This immersion program is encouraged by the Commission on Higher Education for the faculty members to have first hand experiences on what present industries require from graduates of technical courses. In line with this CHED program, Smart Communications, Inc., for the second time, invited faculty members from its partner schools all over the country for an immersion program starting last year.

Unlike the previous year, this year’s immersion was held in various places all over the country depending upon the capacity of the region in handling, routing, and processing vital data and tasks in the network. The participants were divided into groups and were sent to different areas all over the country. Places of immersion were chosen depending on the geographic location of participant to such areas. To better enhance the learning and hands-on experiences of the faculty, the number of faculty members for each immersion areas is limited to five only.

The immersion program covers most of the basic operations undertaken by various computer and electronics engineers working for the company. Among its vital tasks is call handling. This is the task of making sure that all calls go through the network without encountering the busy message/tone and the task of assuring that all calls stay connected unless the caller hangs up. Also, a major concern for this center is the voice quality received and transmitted. This is often done by monitoring data in their command center. Data traffic will monitored regularly and if traffic is getting heavy, they increase the capacity of the cell site so as to cater to the needs of the users in the area. This center is also responsible for determining the necessity to build another cell site in the area and recommend it to authorities of Smart.

Each of the participants of the immersion is expected to carry out tasks undertaken by the engineers at Smart Communications, Inc. assigned in field operations. To make sure that this is done properly, an engineer-in-charge is duly posted in each area to give lecture to the faculty and supervise their work. The immersion basically involves a hands-on experience after each module has been discussed.

Needless to say, the vital role of faculty in the school is to teach students; however, to better impart the learning process, the teacher has to learn also from practical experiences. Immersion programs prove to be vital in the continued learning process of teachers especially in courses dealing with technology.

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