On August 25, 2023, a virtual graduation ceremony was held under the auspices of Hannam University to award sixty-six (66) students who completed various courses under the Micro Degree Program (MDP) of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA). The ceremony marked the first-ever graduation of MDP since its establishment by ACUCA in the summer term of 2022 with the initiative of Prof. Kitai Kim, ACUCA Secretary-General and MDP Project Leader, and the ACUCA Secretariat at Hannam University, in collaboration with 61 member institutions in eight countries.
The students completed the courses in Korean Language 1 and 2 (47 graduates), Mandarin Chinese 1 and 2 (16 graduates), and Strategic Family Business Management and Social Impact (3 graduates).
Prof. Kim stated that MDP was created to promote collaboration and exchange among 61 member institutions in 8 countries. “We have in our hands tremendous resources that can be utilized in good pursuits and to help our students in our member institutions obtain these kinds of credentials. That was the primary objective of the program”, he added. It aimed to help students in member institutions obtain credentials in Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Strategic Family Business Management and Social Impact. Since the start of MDP and through three academic terms (Summer 2022, Winter 2022, and Summer 2023), a total of 417 students have completed these courses.
The ceremony was presided over by Prof. Kitai Kim and Prof. Kim Chul, Dean of Global Relations at Hannam, representing the President, Prof. Kwang-sup Lee. In his message, Dr. Chul Kim congratulated the graduates and stated: “You have made history as the first to complete the Micro Degree Program. You lead the way for future learners of this program and cemented your role as collaborators of ACUCA, ushering in a new age of continuing education and bridging peoples, institutions, and countries.”
During the ceremony, two graduates, Christian Batara Wishnu of Indonesia and Daniel Cruz from De La Salle University Philippines, gave testimonies. Christian Batara Wishnu thanked ACUCA, its officials, and the instructors for their competent and patient teaching “in a learning atmosphere that was fun and conducive to learning” the Korean language. Daniel Cruz, one of the three students who earned the Micro Degree in Strategic Family Business Management and Social Impact, who also is pursuing his MA while managing two enterprises, said the Strategic Family Business Management course provided him with the crucial tools and concepts “to navigate challenges, foster growth, and ensure the sustained success of our own family business. At the same time, the Social Impact program reinforces the notion that enterprise must transcend mere profit-seeking. As entrepreneurs, we must be responsible for creating a positive impact for the community and society.”
Dr. Chuchi S. Montenegro, an instructor in Basic Python Programming, who was represented at the ceremony by a colleague Percival Genove, spoke on behalf of the other instructors and said that the MDP’s achievement celebrated the power of collective growth and shared knowledge, where collaboration, inclusivity, and friendships were formed.
Prof. Kitai Kim announced that starting January 2024, Doshisha University of Kyoto, Japan, will be handling “in its good hands” the Micro Degree Program as it assumes the responsibility for serving as ACUCA Secretary-General and Secretariat.