CIIT College of Arts and Technology (CIIT) is a relatively new school, it was established only in 2008. But in barely 15 years, it has risen to be a top digital, technical education, and multimedia arts school in the country. It is also forward-thinking enough to launch two new next-level courses for the coming school year (2023) that are tailor-made for the next generation of business innovators and technology entrepreneurs.
CIIT’s new offerings are the Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship and Senior High School-Accounting, Business, and Management (ABM) Strand—intended for those between the ages of 16-34 and those who consider themselves early adopters to new technologies.
CIIT College of Arts and Technology (CIIT) President Sherwin O said that part of their target market are the content creators who are also business-driven, the kind we see on Tiktok.
“ I am confident our programs will resonate well with them because the knowledge and skills they will acquire will make their ideas come to life efficiently,” O said during a recent open-house media briefing at CIIT’s Interweave Tower campus in Brgy. Kamuning, Quezon City.
He said the new courses complete the next-level educational ecosystem of a technology-driven school envisioned by CIIT founder and Board Chairman Elson Niel S. Dagondon, when he opened the school in 2008. CIIT’s goal then was not to focus on “profitable college degrees” but to develop competencies that produce industry-ready graduates.
“CIIT now has an ecosystem of innovators and creators who can make the ideas of its students a reality, much like how Silicon Valley fosters great talents,” he said.
O said the pandemic—when new business owners seized the opportunities as almost everything moved online—inspired CIIT “to go full circle and give the students a chance to turn their business ideas into reality.”
” Unlike most entrepreneurship and business management programs, CIIT goes beyond the usual expectation of discussing classroom concepts and creating traditional business models,” O pointed out.
“CIIT transforms the experience by also adding digital platforms and business-level tools to allow our students to turn their ideas into real tech startups,” he said.
Next-level education bridges gap through innovation
Asked if institutions like CIIT are agile enough to close the gap between knowledge and skills development and the industry needs, O said “it has always been part of the core of CIIT to innovate and close that gap, which was the main reason why CIIT was established.”
When Dagondon put up Anino Games, the first and largest game development studio in the country, in the early 2000’s, he realized that a big gap existed between the industry demand and the higher education programs.
“Innovation is part of our DNA as it is one of our core values in which we seek to continuously improve the systems, processes, and our way of doing things,” O said.
CIIT, he said, leverages automation in almost every clerical task in its school administration system, but no employee has ever been replaced.
“Instead, they become increasingly efficient, productive, accurate, and agile as they focus on value-driven tasks and higher levels of challenges that further push CIIT towards faster innovation,” he said.
This is why, he said, the new courses are customized based on industry needs and standards that are “validated and recognized by seasoned professionals and our more than 100 company partners.”
“We believe that innovation through the use of technology allows us to close the gap much faster and grow much faster,” he said.
O said the courses will “equip our organizations as well as Filipinos with knowledge and skills that will allow them to be at par with international organizations.
Practical applications, next-level graduates
“We focus more on the practical applications and see to it that we are agile enough to adjust the curriculum and tailor it to the needs of the industry,” O said when asked how the new CIIT offerings compare with those from other schools.
“Each of the subjects in our BS Entrepreneurship and ABM programs is paired with industry-grade software used by local and international companies,” he said.
This industry-based approach to education and curriculum design, he said, enables CIIT to not only address the gap between the industry and education “but also to live up to its goal of producing next-level graduates.”
O explained the CIIT advantage: “We not only teach our students theories or concepts like marketing, operations, human resource, finance or accounting, but we also teach them how to optimize business tasks through various applications used by organizations worldwide. This enables them to execute their ideas immediately.”
He cited that, in marketing for example, CIIT goes beyond the ordinary curriculum by teaching its students how to actually create and launch Facebook advertising campaigns and analyze the reports.
In operations, as another example, CIIT teaches its students how to optimize clerical tasks using Airtable so they can focus more on growing the business.
CIIT also conducts annual consultation with its industry partners as well as relevant non-partner organizations for a curriculum validation and enhancement activity.
“The principal goal of our annual meetup and discussions with different institutions is to ensure that the industry-standard skill requirements and current trends will be adapted in the future and in the current programs offered by CIIT,” O said.
Next-level curricula, competitive fees
O said that innovation is part of almost all the subjects in CIIT’s ABM strand.
“Apart from the learning competencies of all ABM subjects, we included industry standards in the field of business, which make it more unique, innovative, and adaptive to the evolving world of business,” he said.
O said that innovation of ideas will be integrated into learning such subjects as business enterprise simulation and inquiries investigation and immersion, the latter through the exhibit of the students’ ideas put into life.
The new courses come with competitive fees as CIIT is committed to offering the “most accessible education” to Filipino students and Filipino talents in general, according to O.
“That is the focus of our mission and vision so we do not accept foreign students,” he said.
The college tuition fee at CIIT ranges between P119,000 to P132,000 a year, depending on the specific program, and this already includes the laboratory and miscellaneous fees.
CIIT also offers scholarships and flexible tuition arrangements for the economically challenged but promising students.
Incoming or new students who graduated with honors from Senior High School can avail of its Interweave Scholarship program, while the Top 50 successful applicants of the CIIT College Admissions Test are offered the Future CIITzen Scholarship Grant. Students in good standing but are experiencing financial challenges can avail of the CIIT Financial Aid.
Open sharing of ideas, collaboration
CIIT students are “free to voice their opinions and are heard by the school,” according to O.
“As a college of both art and tech and with a diverse community, we encourage collaboration of all kinds, where students not only learn the value of logic, but also take pride in their creative spirit,” O said.
He said that CIIT welcomes creators from different backgrounds as “we recognize that each and every one is capable of weaving a future together.”
CIIT students, he said, thrive in an ecosystem that pushes them to succeed.
“An Entrepreneurship student thinking of putting up a business can readily tap a Multimedia student to design the logo and ads, a friend taking up Computer Science can program the app, an org mate taking up Game Development can build interactive media or his friend taking up Information Systems can analyze the data—all because they are already here at CIIT,” he said.
But in offering these courses, O said that CIIT is helping equip the next generation of entrepreneurs who will shape the future of our country’s business and industry.
“CIIT offers a wide range of courses designed to equip the next generation of entrepreneurs, who play a crucial role in driving economic growth and creating job opportunities,” he said.
This is the reason why, he said, CIIT’s courses are tailored to foster a culture of innovation and encourage the values of integrity that the school has long espoused.
“Our courses are designed to harness the potential of technology and help our students develop the necessary skills to succeed in the digital age. We are ensuring them to be well-rounded and able to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape so they could change how businesses can be done in the country in the future,” O said.