U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie Bassett (4th from left) and Gloria Steele (2nd from left), Mission Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), visits the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Cagayan de Oro City, one of the growing number of colleges and universities partnering with USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program to implement the Job-Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) Project.

They were welcomed by Dr. Ruth Cabahug, MUST Vice President for Academic Affairs (5th from left), and joined on their visit by (L-R): Cagayan de Oro Vice Mayor Ceasar Ian Acenas; Jaime Rafael Paguio, President of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry; USAID Economic Growth Advisor Robert Barnes; Matthew Fullerton of the U.S. Embassy; and Dr. Elpidio Bautista, President of Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology (MOSCAT), another JEEP partner-college. JEEP helps selected college students in Mindanao to acquire the English skills needed for jobs in sectors requiring a high level of English proficiency, such as healthcare, tourism, maritime services, and other areas of international business. The GEM Program is implemented under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority.

Gloria Steele, Mission Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development/Philippines (USAID), chats with a student in the dedicated speech laboratory established by the Job-Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) Project at the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Cagayan de Oro City.

MUST is one of the 17 colleges and universities partnering with USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program to implement JEEP, which will eventually work with approximately 25 colleges.

The project helps selected college students in Mindanao to acquire the English skills needed for jobs in sectors-such as nursing and allied healthcare, travel and tourism, maritime services, and other areas of international business-requiring a high level of English proficiency.

Last year, MUST began implementing JEEP-Start, a one-year course that helps students develop advanced general English language skills through computer-assisted instruction. In November, MUST will begin implementing JEEP-Accelerate, which is designed to help students develop the language skills required by specific employment sectors, and to take international and local English tests, and to hone job interview skills. More than 8,000 students are enrolled in the two-year series of JEEP multimedia courses.

U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie Bassett tries the specialized English language software in the dedicated speech laboratory established by the Job-Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) Project at the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Cagayan de Oro City.

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