THE COLLEGE Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) will be implementing new academic policies for its Advertising Arts program, including the mandatory on-the-job-training (OJT) for junior students and a revamp of major subjects.

Starting next school year, subjects such as “costume and fashion design,” “package design” and “life painting” will no longer be regular subjects, instead they will be offered as elective courses, while a new subject called “figure drawing” will be included in the curriculum, the Varsitarian learned in a forum titled “Cross PolyNation” last November 10 and 11 at the Beato Angelico Building.

“We have already moved computer and photography down to second year since computer was originally taken by fourth year students and photography was taken in the students’ third year,” Advertising department chair Mary Christie Que said. “We will also be doing electives and practicum for the incoming third year students next year.”

But according to CFAD student council President Ron Marco Taguimacon, some students did not like the new curriculum.

“Some of the students in the lower batches find the electives unfair since they will not be able to take all of these subjects anymore, unlike the previous batches,” Taguimacon said. “They also dislike the fact that there are limited slots per elective, which means that there is no assurance that they can get into the class they really like.”

Meanwhile, Que saw a problem on the implementation of OJT for junior students during the summer.

“Only a few advertising firms and offices offer student internships at present, posing a major problem in requiring all of the students to undergo the OJT program,” she said. “If the industry could provide a continuous support system for UST in terms of its practicum program, this would probably help alleviate the problem.”

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Needs improvement for conceptualization

Meanwhile, UST alumni and international advertising practitioners Gem Habito and Carol Ong said advertising arts graduates of UST excel in drawing, but lack the capability to conceptualize original and genuine ideas, thus making conceptualization exercises highly recommended.

“The students need to explore. They need to be allowed to use different media aside from the ones that the college requires,” said Cambodia-based advertising practitioner Habito in the forum between invited advertising practitioners and faculty members.

But the professors agreed that most advertising students today obviously lack mastery and know-how in the use of basic tools and the application of fundamental skills, making this proposal unadvisable at present.

“One of my greatest frustrations is that most students now don’t know why they are in fine arts. Even if spoonfeeding is done, they are not able to prove that they know enough to make it in the industry,” Rey Amado Mañago, a professor of Fine Arts, said during the forum. Alyosha J. Robillos with reports from Fritz Mari Amar and Isabela Martinez

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