Last May 14, Br. Ricky Laguda, President and Chancellor of DLSU, announced that the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) reaccredited the College of Computer Studies (CCS), the College of Education (CED), the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), the College of Science (COS), the School of Economics (SOE), and the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business (RVR COB).
Even if the University had not yet received the PAASCU report of the accreditation, the informal announcement came following the convening of the PAASCU Board last May 14.
The PAASCU is a member of the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), and conducts assessments of educational institutions, accrediting them according to internationally recognized standards of educational management.
The areas that PAASCU examines during school visits include faculty, administration and management, curriculum and instruction, student services, library, physical plant, facilities and goals and objectives.
Formerly, the Institutional Accreditation and Assessment (IAA) office was responsible for processing PAASCU and other institutional evaluations. Following DLSU’s administrative re-organization, however, it is now the Office of Strategic Management and Quality Assurance (OSMQA) that handles the evaluations.
Dr. Robert Roleda, Director for National and Internal Quality Assurance, assumed responsibilities as early as May this year, and shares that while no official announcement has yet been declared, the office is confident that the re-accreditation is more or less what has been announced.
“After the Board meeting, we received informal news that we have been reaccredited,” he shares. “When you say reaccredited, it usually means a ‘clean reaccreditation’ at level III for the six programs, colleges that underwent the accreditation process.
However, we have no official results yet as to the results of the reaccreditation. We are still awaiting the final report from the PAASCU. ”
Roleda shares that the reaccreditation is ‘clean’ as it sets the colleges on the level needed to pursue further accreditation, such as institutional accreditation and level IV accreditation.
“The reaccreditation is required to apply for institutional accreditation. They add a form with the report telling you that you could apply for institutional accreditation. It is also with that form that an institution can apply for level IV. For level IV accreditation, [accreditors] no longer need to visit the campus. We just send them documents.”
The visit is no longer necessary for the accreditation, as the basis for level IV accreditation relies on documents. “The other metrics for level III, they need to visit,” says Roleda. “But for level IV, they look more at research and linkages, which they do not [extensively] look at in the level III accreditation.”
He explains that the same focus on research and linkages was the same for last year’s level IV accreditation, when programs from the Gokongwei College of Engineering were given level IV accreditation. “Engineering went through two batches of level IV accreditation. There, besides research and linkages, they factor in board exams as part of the level IV accreditation.”
The first batch of programs – Civil Engineering, Electronics and Communications Engineering and Industrial Engineering – were accredited at level IV early last academic year, while the second batch – Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering – only applied this May, after the mechanical engineering and chemical engineering licensure examinations. Results are expected to come during the first term of AY 2013-2014.
Presently, DLSU’s standing in terms of institutional accreditation is at level IV accreditation as of the 2010 institutional reaccreditation, and most of its programs are re-accredited at level III.
PAASCU in graduate studies
The University is also exploring having its graduate programs reaccredited, after the undergraduate reaccreditation last year. Roleda informs, “For graduate programs, the accredited level is level II, but the highest level is level III, which is the equivalent for level IV in undergraduate. We are having our [graduate programs], our MBA program accredited by PAASCU.”
“We are only having the MBA program accredited now as well as some others even if other universities might have had their programs accredited already,” says Roleda. “They may be ahead of us in that aspect but accreditation is really just one aspect of the [quality] of the program.”
De La Salle’s Masters in Business Administration, yet unaccredited by PAASCU, is a flagship course of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business graduate school, which operates in campuses in Ortigas and Makati for easier access to professionals based in the said sites. DLSU’s MBA program has an existing tie-up with Far Eastern University’s Institute of Law, allowing students to earn an MBA and a juris doctor degree in five to six years.