The University aspires to train qualified professionals, who cultivate their own particular potential and develop their unique qualities and aptitudes; who do not lose the capacity for amazement nor to fair and constructive criticism; that do not allow the virtue of wonder to be numbed in front of the prodigious balance of nature; that enhance the attraction to investigate, imagine and create; and that feel invited to contribute to the establishment of better and more favorable forms of social interaction.
The University hopes that the personal development of its students and professionals who graduate from its classrooms, will allow them to face their lives and responsibilities in a balanced and optimistic way, and thus approach the reach of authentic, albeit, limited satisfactions that earthly existence can bring. Overall, the University expects to train people to live their lives fully, to nurture friendship, to know how to enjoy themselves, but also to dedicate an important part to the pursuit of their harmonious and comprehensive training from an intellectual viewpoint. Thus, its educational work goes beyond a simple educational process: it is promoted as part of daily management, an effective interaction among authorities, academics and students, since the development of a straightforward and formative relationship between teachers and disciples considered eminently positive and enriching.
This interrelation is framed in the purposes of transmitting information and knowledge, facilitating the meeting and participation of students in activities that promote the exchange of ideas and experiences, in a plan of harmony and responsible coexistence.
The development of sports activities also occupies a place of importance within a balanced education, recognizing the impact they have on the formation of youth and the development of beneficial practices for spiritual and physical health.
Also importantly, it implies the search for excellence in academic achievement. We aspire for our students to practice active learning, where they become the main agents of their own development. Therefore, our academics will stimulate the investment of time in the task of learning and collaborative learning, where students organize themselves to study, learn and mature together, solve problems and seek information. Another dimension of a balanced education, no less important than the previous ones, is the development of the capacity to undertake new challenges.
For the University it is important that its alumni stride to be pioneers rather than followers, where imagination, proactive thinking and flexibility play a vital role.
The achievement of a balanced education implies establishing goals as transversal objectives of the course curriculum. The interest for researching to research, the experience of the processes and principles of science, knowing how to value the importance of technology, professional training focused on contemporary problems and being an entrepreneur, are life attitudes. This is not achieved only by a set of courses; it requires the formation of habits, skills, values and the acquisition of strategies over time.
That is why our course curricula are structured by areas that are transversal to the training of our students and that allow the learning, reflection and maturation of our students to grow as they progress in their studies.
The most challenging aspect of current development is the advancement of knowledge. It seems nonessential to maintain the tradition of the curricular structures where fragmented, encyclopedic and lecture-style instruction has been privileged. It is therefore important that, along with the revision and modernization of course curricula, both students and faculty make an important effort to promote autonomous learning.
It is necessary therefore, to provide young people with strategies that help them to develop this capacity, introducing segments of their courses or even the complete courses where the student works with computer media or complements face to face classes with self-learning textbooks, the development of projects, case studies, resolution of problems and research that requires bibliographical analysis, among other modalities. These methodologies favor self-learning, but above all, active learning.
The University has already embarked on e-learning courses and plans to offer instances of professional growth through virtual education. In this sense, much has already been done since the institution, in addition to having an adequate computing infrastructure, offers free access to the internet and the possibility of providing electronic mail to all authorities, faculty and students. Students can find multiple possibilities of interaction on their institutional website.
The permanent interaction among students, faculty and authorities is one of the cornerstones of the institution. It is not only done in the context of the classroom, laboratory, workshops and field practices, but also in the permanent informal contact outside the classroom and through email. Students can not only ask questions, but also talk about professional topics and others of personal interest as well.
An important aspect of teaching effectiveness is the timely feedback to the student. The practice of faculty’s opportune and continuous response to their students with regard to their learning process, contributes decisively to effective learning.
In addition, the University maintains a continuous process of reviewing its course curricula and professional profiles that seeks to:
1) Design course curricula that respond to the challenges of current times.
2) Reflect a “balanced education” in the course curricula.
3) Imbue in our students a seal of dynamism that prevents them from becoming obsolete and pertinent in their professions.
4) Establish competitive professional profiles.
5) Achieve high national and international standards in order to facilitate the transition of our alumni to professional practice or graduate studies in the country or abroad, with the required professional competence and academic aptitude.
In terms of teacher effectiveness, the Office of Academic Affairs uses a program to detect needs, in order to improve the performance of its faculty and promote new and more appropriate teaching methodologies. Additionally, the University, through its College of Education, offers an unprecedented Master’s Program in University Pedagogy, in which, leading specialists take part and that is aimed at its faculty and open to others from different institutions.
Universidad Mayor has understood that the rigor of university management, especially when it has declared that the search for quality is one of the institutional axes, and that the quality control of inputs, processes and results, is an undeniable necessity. That is why it has introduced quality monitoring mechanisms that operate on a permanent basis. Some of them are already in operation and others in the design stage.
Some aspects of quality monitoring include:
1) Evaluation of the teaching role
2) Self-evaluation of units, course curricula and programs
3) Monitoring of alumni
4) Accreditation of programs by competent organizations
The evaluation of the teaching role is carried out on an annual basis and seeks to collect information from the primary source, that is to say, the students, regarding their perception in relation to the teaching process. The main objective of this evaluation is to detect gaps or weaknesses that allow for improvement mechanisms, through further pedagogical training of faculty, instances of enhancement of the discipline and the adequate assigning of roles.
The institutional framework of quality control is provided by the mission and vision of the University and by a set of specially designed standards that are consistent with those of recognized national and international organizations.
Universidad Mayor carries out self-evaluation processes, which focus on programs and schools aimed at critically reviewing the inputs, processes and results. In order to carry this out, we work with faculty, students, administrative personnel, alumni and employers among other users of the academic offer. The results obtained provide feedback for the design of policies, institutional planning, information system for management, allocation of resources and, in general, the decision making that allows overcoming the detected weaknesses, consolidate the strengths and take advantage of the opportunities.
In this line of quality assurance, the University has begun with the accreditation, preferably international, of some of its programs with recognized bodies in the field of the respective specialty. This directly benefits its alumni, who, in time, may exhibit academic and professional credentials recognized in the international arena.
The Office of Analysis and Development of Universidad Mayor, a pioneering structure within the university sector of the country, has the primary purpose to instill a system of organizational quality assurance in light of the established standards.
The characteristics of the Educational Project of Universidad Mayor, guarantee both its users and the national academic community, a rigorous, dynamic, and modern training process, focused on the students and their interests, and framed by standards of high demand.
Thus, Universidad Mayor accepts its autonomy with responsibility, giving account of the achievement of its declared objectives to society.