Tertiary education or post-secondary schooling is referred to in Education Act of 1982 as “higher education leading to a degree in a specific profession or discipline.” This is to provide a general education program that will promote national identity, cultural consciousness, moral integrity and spiritual vigor, train the nation’s manpower in the skills required for national development, to develop the profession that will provide leadership for the nation; and to advance knowledge through research work and apply new knowledge for improving the quality of human life and responding effectively to changing societal needs and conditions. (Aquino, 2003)
According to Aquino (2003), a careful scrutiny of the aforementioned objectives will suffice to impress in the people’s minds the crucial importance of tertiary or college education.
There are numerous reasons that college education is important. Among these reasons are gaining advantage over competition, demonstrating aptitude in a specific area and the fact that many job opening require a college degree are few of the top reasons. (http://www.degreedirectory.com). Moreover, college education many more opportunities in working life, especially for higher paid jobs and the chance to work with and be taught by some of the finest and most knowledgeable people. (http://www.importanceofcollege.com).
McGuire (2010) stressed that getting a college education is the most important investment one can make in life because having a college degree often provides the greater promotion opportunity. The reasoning does not begin with the job aspect. Some students also put off the importance of college education because of the price tags that can with it. In this case, the major step that student should take is attending the college of his/her choice and the other main concern is the choosing the actual course to pursue.
Internationally, the best college degrees in demand are dependent upon the need and interest of students and vary according to the salary derived form them. The most in demand college degree vary according to the salary derived from them. There are lot many careers in the health and information sectors. Subsequent developments have also given rise to different careers in demand that is associated with media, arts and entertainment. The top 10 college degrees include information science and systems, finance/accounting and economics, marketing management, business management, engineering degree, medical degree, journalism and advertising, arts and literature, multimedia and design, and science and research. (http://www.buzzle.com/aticles/college-degrees-in-demand.html).
According to http://wiki.answer.com , in 2010, the most in demand college courses in the Philippines include culinary arts, business, accounting, engineering, information technology, nursing, psychology, graphic design, digital arts and hotel and restaurant management.
Based on the data collected form leading colleges and universities within South Cotabato, a province in the southern part of the Philippines, the most in dement courses include Business courses, Education, Information Technology, Science and Technology courses and Liberal Arts.
Looking into these data, the preference of the student can be observed. It can be noted that from the international setting down to local venue, the most preferred course are the technical ones while the least preferred are those in the liberal arts which include the Bachelor of Arts courses.
Among the Bachelor of Arts Courses belong the major in English program, popularly known as Bachelor of Arts major in English program (AB English). It is a four year baccalaureate degree program designed to provide a strong background in the study of English. Its goal is to help develop students’ analytical and creative power with particular respect to the basic acts of communication skills. The program stresses literary analysis, diversity, critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a rigorous curriculum of literature, composition, language, linguistic and communication studies. It is an excellent preparation for careers in teaching, media, advertising, writing and publishing, for graduate or professional studies in English, communication or law and for the advancement in may field where communication skills are important. (http://www.thedegreeexperts.com/sd-bachelor-of-arts-in-english-145.aspx)
These advantages that the AB English program will have to offer should make should make the course very attractive to students. However, it is not always the case. The list of top ten courses in the Philippines does not include AB English. In South Cotabato, four leading colleges and universities include AB courses in their top ten courses, however , the AB English program cannot keep up with the increase in enrolment of other AB courses .
In Notre Dame-Siena College of Polomolok where the study is centered , the AB English program has increased in enrolment since it was offered in the School Year 2008-2009. However, as compared to other courses offered by the institution, the program gamers only a mere four percent (4%) enrolment share ( as of second semester , School Year 2010 – 2011).
It is in this light that the researcher s would like to conduct the study of the perception of the senior high school students of Poblacion Polomolok towards Notre Dame Siena College of Polomolok’s Bachelor of Arts Major in English program in order to address question on the staggering enrolment of this degree program.