A Community Extension Framework for Philippine Higher Education Institutions: A Model Developed from Small-Scale Climate Change Adaptation Projects of Central Mindanao University
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Higher education institutions in the Philippines today are pushed to intensify university-community engagement through extension activities. This is not just for accreditation purposes but more specifically to facilitate sustainable development in poor communities. However, among the fourfold functions of universities in the country (instruction, research, extension, and production), extension is the least acted upon by faculty members probably due to any or all of the following factors: a) lack of the necessary skills in community development, b) lack of time for such endeavors, or c) lack of understanding on what extension really is. In this paper, a model for designing college extension activities is proposed based on previous community engagement projects of the College of Forestry and Environmental Science of Central Mindanao University (CFES-CMU). Based on documentary evidence, interview data, and personal observations supplemented by literature review, essential features/characteristics of prior successful projects were analyzed and developed into an operational framework for designing future university facilitated community development projects for ensuring a higher probability of success. The above analysis also provided a workable definition of community extension which can assist interested faculty members in understanding the objectives of extension work.
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