Train University Staff on Information Technology and Data Science


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

NEUST has six major campuses and seven Extension Campuses across the province. At present, NEUST has more than 20,000 students; many of them information technology (IT) students. More so, it is the only university in the province of Nueva Ecija that offers a master of science in information technology (MSIT). Offered since 2005-2006, the MSIT has now offered new tracks such as data science, system development, and system administration. These inclusions are designed to innovate MSIT to be more fit and tailored to the industry's work requirements. Furthermore, in doing so, it will keep the program abreast with the current trends and issues.

In line with this, the university seeks assistance to train MSIT faculty members on trends needed in the new tracks to enhance quality education. The needed trainings and workshops would include data science, cyber security, robotics, artificial intelligence, data warehousing, deep learning, cloud computing, and virtual reality. Training on these topics are required for new subjects like enterprise data warehousing, data analytics, data visualization, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and information security and assurance. As service improvement and quality education for the clientele is desired, we are looking forward to the technical assistance that the Peace Corps will provide through their Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) for this endeavor.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks:

• Review MSIT Program and provide technical advice for its advancement
• Share and discuss updates on new trends on data science, e.g. data warehousing and cyber security
• Review/assess IT training needs of the 10 MSIT faculty members and develop corresponding training design where VSPP has the specific expertise on.
• Assist in the conduct of at least 5 IT training or workshop series on any of the following topics: data science, cyber security, robotics, artificial intelligence, data warehousing, deep learning, cloud computing, and virtual reality.
This engagement is expected to be approximately 24 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.
Virtual meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Philippine time. Specific times will be determined during orientation. The HCA Counterpart shall initiate the weekly calls with the VSPP preferably at around 8:00am (Philippine time, GMT + 8). Given the wide time zone difference between the US and the Philippines, virtual meeting schedules can be adjusted and mutually agreed upon with the VSPP.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to laptop/desktop, Zoom app, WhatsApp, and email for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in data science or other IT-related fields such as cyber security, data warehousing, data visualization and deep learning

Experience: Two years of work engagement in any academic institution OR two years’ experience in the industry that manages databases or experience in business intelligence platform

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: PhD. in Information Technology (IT) or any related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Partner background

Name: Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST)

Type of entity: Government

Mission and goals:

NEUST is a locally responsive and internationally relevant and recognized University of Science and Technology.

To develop new knowledge and technologies and transform human resources into productive citizenry to bring about development impact to local and international communities

The University seeks to become a leading academic institution with strong international linkages and world class facilities whose institutional and curricular offerings are at par with its local and foreign counterparts.

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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