Aiming to professionalize youth development work in the country, the Master of Arts in Governance and Development Major in Youth Development Work (MAGD-YDW) officially launched last February 17, 2020, at Yakan Hall, Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City.

Ateneo de Zamboanga University, in partnership with the National Youth Commission and UNICEF Philippines, offers this 45-credit unit program, which is first in Asia.

This partnership will help strengthen the literature of Filipino youth development of those who aspire to become and who are currently youth development workers, AdZU Assistant to the President for Social Development said.

“The work is serious and disciplined and the workers need to be professionals, oriented, formed, skilled and competent,” AdZU President Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ said in his message of support. “Those who work for the youth need and deserve to be trained” he continued.

The pioneering batch of the MAGD-YDW consists of 20 students from NYC and local youth development officers, who are expected to complete the course in March 2022.

The program will be under the University’s School of Accountancy and Management (SMA), ran by AdZU Assistant to the President for Social Development John Mayo Enriquez and AdZU SMA Dean Maynard Bagtasos.

The 16-month program will equip the students with the foundations and principles on youth development, statistics, research, public administration, strategic planning and project management, among others.

Students are also expected to analyze challenges in the management, implementation, and evaluation of youth policies and programs in the Philippines, and contribute to the database on Philippine youth development theories and approaches

“Hopefully this course will teach them to understand young people better, not only from the perspective of the community development but also from the scientific lens,” Emee Lei Valdehuesa, UNICEF Philippines Consultant said.

SUGPAT Founding Director Kiko Miranda narrated the story behind the conceptualization of the master’s program where NYC Commissioner-at-large James Ventura visited Zamboanga through the invitation of Emee Valdehuesa of UNICEF to observe the SUGPAT Barangay Leadership Program. 

“After sitting through the three-day module one, Commissioner James asked me, “How do we scale up this program?” The master’s degree in youth development work is our response to the sign of the times,” he continued

After almost two years of designing the program and seeking proper approval from authorities, the MAGD-YDW is ready to roll out this March.

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