More than a month ago, the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines granted DLSU a PAASCU level IV institutional accreditation after maintaining more than 75 percent of its academic programs at level III for more 10 years, while exemplifying the highest standards of research, teaching and learning, community service and contribution to economic and social development.
Now, 97 percent of DLSU’s programs are at level IV, and the administration is expecting equally successful results as the Commission on Higher Education conducts its evaluation and re-assessment on our Centers of Excellence and Development this coming year.
In line with this accreditation are the University’s other infrastructural developments in its STC campus, where there are two state-of-the-art research facilities for engineering and the sciences set for construction: the Hangar and the Clean Room.
For observers of matters unrelated to La Salle’s scholarly pursuits, there is also the school’s powerful athletic performance, being at the fore of the General Championship tally of the UAAP this season.
This should provide incentive for the ID 114 students, who have recently been informed of their successful acceptance into the University after the release of the DLSU College Admission Test results. Will they consider entering La Salle on the basis of these rosy points?
De La Salle is more than an educational institution. It is a social mover responsible for sponsoring thousands of scholars across the country in its integrated schools and its tertiary level institutions. To do this requires money in the millions coming from endowments such as the One La Salle Scholarship Fund and the Lasallian Legacy Fund, among others. When students choose La Salle, indirectly, they may be supporting the studies of working students in night schools, or the underprivileged studying in La Salle’s many supervised schools.
All the University’s efforts, indirectly and directly, are geared towards education and social development. But for students to realize this is another matter. Where the bigger picture being broadcasted to the world is of a University that always strives to be progressive and developmental in its pedagogy, and strong in its research initiatives, ultimately, La Salle’s real products are those that march at the PICC every term for their commencement exercises.
The packaging is good, but the inside of the product is what holds clout. What is PAASCU to a professor who never shows up, or gives too many free cuts? What is infrastructural expansion where 70 percent of the University’s air conditioning is still up for replacement? What does it reflect when student organizations only go to COSCA to simply look for communities as a deposit account for 30 percent of funds raised, without establishing real relationships with the marginalized St. La Salle so looked out for? Why is it that Lasallian-ness has by the popular notion been more associated with screaming die-hards in the UAAP games, and not those who seek to uplift the last, the lost and the least?
True, accreditation, makes it easier for the University to solicit sponsors, going so far as to have its discussion rooms, benches and tables up for grabs to students and alumni for staggering amounts of donations, as if fixated on branding and names. Is this the impression we wish to convey to the ID 114 who are deliberating on whether they should go where the future is?
With the money flowing in the institution from these positive reports, like a booming economy, investments stream in. But if these investments don’t fall in the right places, then maybe the community should re-assess their individual roles in ensuring that the deeper fundamentals that stand for this institution, this agent of social transformation, remain intact, lest we confuse the University’s market value with its real values.