The University Center for Rural Well-Being – CUBR

The "University Center for Rural Well-Being" was conceived by FUNDAEC as another important component of the University for Integral Development. It began activities with the B.Ed. in Rural Education program, which was connected in a conceptual and practical manner with the SAT program for two reasons. First, to respond to the increasing demands for the System on the national level, with the requisite quality and quantity. As the SAT students advanced from one level of complexity to another, it became evident that tutors were needed with a better understanding of the program’s content, a solid grounding in theoretical and practical pedagogical knowledge, and the capacity to guide his or her students in the processes of science application and community organization. The second reason, was to provide the SAT graduates with an opportunity to enter a higher studies program containing the same philosophical and methodological context in which they had been already trained, and to facilitate their continued connection to their own cultural and social environment. The first graduates came from different parts of the country—the majority were SAT tutors sponsored by their respective institutions—and were committed to a modality that allowed them to alternate their studies at CUBR with their pedagogical practicum in their hometowns.


The Bachelor of Rural Education's Sphere of Action

What has just been mentioned should not lead to the idea that the B.Ed. was oriented only towards the SAT. Soon after its introduction, the program was organized to meet the needs of the teachers in the Norte del Cauca region and in three other regions where it subsequently became established via extension (in Risaralda, Antioquia, and Córdoba). The teachers needed to better prepare themselves and adapt to the new educational legislation (Law 114 of 1994) which made it obligatory for teachers to have a university degree in education, while the majority of them had only high school specialized diplomas or were graduates of other disciplines.

In summary, the purpose of the Bachelor's Degree is to "train people who can respond with quality and dedication to the integral educational needs of rural populations. In this context, the rural educator is defined as the teacher, the friend, the innovator, the active member of the community and the catalyst of many of the processes of rural life".

The program opened its doors to students in September of 1990, after having received provisional approval from ICFES (the national institution that oversees institutions of higher education). It received definitive official recognition four years later, coinciding with its first graduation. The University Center has already graduated several classes of rural educators, reaching more than 1,300 graduates, who are currently working in different parts of Colombia and other Latin American countries in educational institutions or in development projects that consider education as their most important component. These achievements have been possible because in its original conception, the Bachelor's Degree in Rural Education program was created to operate with a flexible methodology that would adapt to the conditions and needs of students, thus making it possible to reach students and regions that otherwise could not benefit from a university program.


The B.Ed. in Rural Education with an Emphasis in Agriculture and Animal Sciences

The original B.Ed. in Rural Education program was well received by the sector concerned with rural education. Although rural necessarily implies agriculture and animal production—and the original B.Ed. program engages in this,—many organizations like the Comités de Cafeteros, the municipal Extension offices, and the same SAT institutions showed interest in the offering of an alternate program that would train a teacher oriented much more towards the promotion of micro-enterprise projects, which would respond to the urgent needs to transform the local economies. Thus a new program was created at CUBR which, just like the first one, received approval from the ICFES: B.Ed. in Rural Education with an Emphasis in Agriculture and Animal Sciences (Resolution No. 1067 of May 5, 2000).



The Specialization Program in Education for Development

In the face of the pressing need for educational alternatives for professionals as witnessed throughout the country, and their own expressed interest in broadening their vision of development and acquiring the tools that would enable them to become real agents of change, CUBR decided to create this Specialization program. It was to be the space in which to share the learning generated in the University for Integral Development through various decades of work in investigation and action, revolving around the search for possible and necessary ways to use education as a motor to promote the integral development of rural communities. Among other things, the Specialization student engages in an analysis of the SAT program and its intimate connection to both the productive and organizational processes set in motion by FUNDAEC through the framework of the UDI.


Seminario PALC grupo 04 14-jul-2016 Perico Negro, Cauca

The Specialization Program in Strengthening Local Economies and Professional Technician Program in Administration of Local Economies

The Specialization in Strengthening Local Economies program brought together the lessons learned from FUNDAEC's experience with alternative systems and modes of production, both at the primary and secondary levels. It was initially offered to a group of university graduates at the specialization level. Some of the materials have subsequently been adapted to a two-year university program, Technician in Administration of Local Economies - a remote education program offered by the Center since 2008. This program was designed and developed within the context of the University Center for Rural Well-being understanding that the development of sustainable local economies is an indispensable aspect of meeting the material needs of people in any region. Because of its conviction that the people themselves must take ownership of their own social and economic progress, the Center focused on a program that could help students develop the skills and capacities necessary to take on these responsibilities. Graduates of this program participate specifically in community development programs aimed at promoting agriculture and livestock, agro-industry, environmental health, and the organization of community life.

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Further information can be found on CUBR's website: