Jesus Peralta Martinez is probably the oldest man who graduated in the Philippines this year.
The 70-year-old man from Barangay Malued marched along with 1,376 graduates during the Pangasinan State University (PSU) commencement exercises today, April 14 at the CSI Stadia.
In his interview with The Philippine Star, Martinez revealed that he dropped out of college more than 40 years ago when he migrated to the US where he worked as insurance agent for several years.
In 1970, Martinez established his very own Jess Martinez Insurance Agency which is still running until now. The dual Filipino and US citizen concentrated on sending his seven children to school, who are all professionals now.
Despite accomplishing this, Martinez felt that something is still lacking in his life.
“I had worked so hard in my life. It’s about time to take care of myself and pursue my dream,” he said.
One of his friends encouraged him to enroll in the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) in PSU’s Lingayen campus. Through the assessment and accreditation program, Martinez’ work experience as tax consultant, notary public, as well as retirement adviser were awarded as corresponding academic units. The easier process enabled him to earn his college degree and Masters in Development Management degree.
This summer, Martinez intends to enroll in a law school in the Philippines to fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer.
What is Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program?
Run by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the ETEEAP is a special program that gives recognition, credit and equivalencies to skills, knowledge, values, attitude gained from relevant work experience. Partner colleges and universities across the country award appropriate college degree in the preferred field of the applicant.
To be eligible for the assessment and accreditation program, the applicant must meet the following requirements, according to CHED:
- at least high school graduate
- at least 22 years old
- relevant work experience of at least five years in the industry or field related to their preferred academic program
- must show proof of capability, proficiency and thorough knowledge in the field applied for equivalency