Catanduanes State University seeks accreditation of 12 curricular programs

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Catanduanes State Colleges. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org
Catanduanes State Colleges. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

LEGAZPI CITY (25-Feb-2013/PNA) – Fresh from being elevated from state college stature to what it is now, the Catanduanes State University (CSU) has submitted for accreditation 12 of its various curricular programs to elevate its standard of excellence in Bicol’s education.

CSU president Dr. Minerva Morales over the weekend here said that among these programs are courses in Accountancy, Business Administration and Nutrition and Dietetics which will be placed on third survey evaluation by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered State Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP) on February 25-March 2.

This stage of evaluation comes after the Level II Re-accredited status of the programs for five years.

Morales explained that passing a higher level standard of quality entitles the program to apply for Level III.

The program is then evaluated and must excel in four areas; two of them are instruction and extension, which are mandatory.

Two more areas are to be chosen from among research, performance in licensure examination, faculty development and linkages.

On the same AACCUP visit, CSU’s programs on Biology and Mathematics, on the other hand, will undergo second survey while Civil Engineering, Information Systems, Agriculture and Public Administration are for first survey assessments.

This stage involves the evaluation of an accredited program that has passed the standards set for the higher level of quality than the first survey conducted five years ago, whose results qualified the programs for an award of Level II Re-accredited status good for five years.

Likewise, Morales said the university’s Graduate School programs–Doctor of Education and Master of Business Administration programs–will also undergo first survey evaluation while the Agriculture program of the CSU Panganiban Campus will go through the preliminary survey.

The first survey visit is the evaluation of the program which has attained “Candidate” status and if it has attained a higher level of quality to qualify for a Level I-Accredited status that is good for three years.

A preliminary survey visit involves the evaluation of the program for the first time.

Passing this assessment entitles the program to a candidate status award valid for two years, according to Morales.

A continuing evaluation is thus undertaken by AACCUP, until the programs have reached the Level IV status which when hurdled would entitle the school to an institutional accreditation.

Curricular programs, however, are still expected to sustain their quality even if they have acquired the highest accredited level.

According to Morales, the AACCUP uses 10 criteria in the assessment of programs.

These are in the areas of mission, goals and objectives; faculty, curriculum and instruction; students, research, extension, community involvement, library, physical facilities, laboratories and administration.

Morales, meanwhile, announced that the CSU presently has already 19 accredited programs and the school is working on the accreditation of all its academic offerings, and should the six submitted for the first survey pass the AACCUP evaluation, “we will be having a total of 25 following this survey.”

AACCUP accreditation is a process by which an institution at the tertiary level evaluates its educational activities, in whole or in part, and seeks an independent judgment to confirm that it substantially achieves its objectives, and is generally equal in quality to comparable institutions.

Accreditation is voluntary on the part of the higher education institution that may want to be accredited.

The evaluation is undertaken by peers, who are the external accreditors and who are mostly faculty members from other higher education institutions.

As a benefit, being accredited lends prestige to member institutions, justified by the possession of quality standards and constant efforts to maintain them at high level.

It also helps parents to know which program they may send their children to for quality education.

It further makes all those engaged in education aware of standards of excellence which they should strive to attain, and make possible for those proposing funding and those who are to fund, to know what to support and how much support is needed.

Evaluated programs are also given the opportunity to know their strength and weaknesses, and in what aspects these need to develop.

AACCUP accreditation has also been used as a criterion in administrative decision-making in a variety of ways such as applicants for teaching in the Department of Education who are graduates of accredited programs are granted credit points.

The school’s accredited status is also used, among others, as criteria in the leveling of state universities and colleges, for normative financing, and as a factor in the selection of center of development and center of excellence, Morales added. (PNA)

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