With only a few months away until the start of AY 2013-2014, which marks the beginning of the actual integration of DLSU and the Science and Technology Complex (STC), formerly De La Salle Canlubang (DLSC), the University has sought the help of students, faculty and administrative offices to address concerns, which include student life and school policy implementation among others.
The DLSU-DLSC Integration Committee composed of representatives from both campuses has been convening regularly to coordinate efforts that would lead to the eventual transition. With the recent appoval of the merger by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the “next great idea” is now becoming a reality.
The merger was proposed years ago as a solution to the problem of congestion in campus. More recently though, the University has sought to use the integration as an opportunity to expand the accessibility of a Lasallian education through the Sta. Rosa City-based campus envisioned as an institution that would bring scientific and technological advancements in the country.
Students who would opt to enroll in the STC campus will pay 20 percent less than the tuition they would have to pay had they studied at the Manila campus.
The extension campus currently has a College of Liberal Arts (CLA), a College of Business (COB) and a College of Computer Studies (CCS); STC recently opened a Communication Arts department.
As an extension campus, STC will now follow DLSU’s procedures and rules, which include the student handbook.
Moreover, DLSU’s administrative offices will also cater to students from both campuses. The Office of Admissions and Scholarship for example will now serve STC students. In relation to the office’s takeover, STC and DLSU will use the same entrance exam and the same cutoff score in selecting future students.
In light of the presence of similar courses in both campuses, students will be given a chance to choose the campus they would want to study in.
As of press time, DLSU has verified that the extension campus will offer eight undergraduate degree programs, which have been offered at Canlubang prior to the integration plans. As a result of the integration, the old programs will have stronger focus in the areas of science and technology.
The programs in DLSU, which have counterparts at Canlubang include Ramon V. del Rosario-College of Business’ BS in Business Management, Gokongwei College of Engineering’s BS in Computer Engineering, and College of Computer Studies’ BS in Information Systems.
Since the integration includes the academic departments, these courses would fall under DLSU’s academic departments and colleges. To ensure that the programs would remain consistent and in line with the objectives of the academic department and the University, the Deans of the aforementioned colleges, Chairs and faculty members of the affected departments were tasked to create a 10-year plan that would determine the curricula and potential programs that may be offered in the future. Currently, the University has agreed to and approved three new programs that would be opened on AY 2016-2017.
With the said changes, STC students will become DLSU graduates, and will consequently receive a DLSU diploma upon completion of their studies in one of the campuses.
Streamlining processes and programs
Student programs and University activities will also be aligned in both campuses. The University Student Government (USG) and STC’s College Student Council (CSC) will be merged next year. The former will be the surviving entity.
Similarly, student organizations will undergo changes. The Council of Student Organizations (CSO) and Recognized Student Organizations (RSO), its counterpart in STC, “have not yet come to a decision as to how the student organizations will be affected [as a result of] the merging of DLSU and DLSC,” says CSO Chair Gail Tan.
CSC President Kevin Marfa explains, however, that organizations cannot have duplicates. Likewise, community engagement efforts and counseling programs will be rationalized.
The University’s student publications will also absorb the Canlubang’s publications.
Although most of the organizations have accepted the merger, many are saying that the integration of student activities and organizations was done to soon. Former Tapat President Gab Adres affirms that they are excited to bring their programs and their brand to Canlubang, but attests that the decision may have been rushed. Comelec Commissioner Janella Cabantug agrees and explains that their initial vote is to have the General Elections next year. She promises, however, that Comelec would try their best this year given that the commission will absorb their counterpart at Canlubang.
On the contrary to rumors that some enrolled students would have to transfer to Canlubang, the DLSU-DLSC Integration Principles clarifies that no student in both campuses will be made to finish their studies in another campus.
Another principle explains that DLSU policies, processes, and procedures would be applied in STC. The principle verifies that enlistment and enrollment procedures, withdrawal, transfer to other programs, and other important processes will be the same for both campuses.
Likewise, Coordinator for Special Projects of the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) Glenn Vines explains that the University Library is already in the process of conducting training programs for librarians at STC since the latter will start using the Web OPAC, the search engine the University Library uses for materials. The OUR, on the other hand, is doing the initial migration of records of present STC students to DLSU.
In addition, DLSU will now take over the Integrated School (IS), the institution under STC, which offers preparatory, elementary and secondary education with a science-oriented curriculum. According to Vines, this is one of the challenges the Academic Services Group would have to face as regulations surrounding lower education levels are different from those of tertiary education.
In preparation for the University’s move to integrate both institutions, DLSU President and Chancellor Br. Ricky Laguda FSC announced the formation of a search committee, which would evaluate and recommend professors and current administrators for central administration positions. The announcement of the new administrators would be made on February 1.
To better oversee the execution of plans at the extension campus, the position Vice President for Science and Technology Complex (VP-STC) has been added to the set of central administrators. The VP-STC is tasked to coordinate with the President to ensure proper implementation of policies and procedures at STC.
Morever, in a meeting of the Integration Committee last October, the Campus Development and Support Systems Work Group headed by the Vice Chancellor for Administration shared that renovation and construction of facilities would be a priority. The University is also studying the feasibility of providing transportation services between the two campuses.
In the field of research, the University is considering establishing new institutes at STC, given that STC’s main thrust is on research.
Br. Ricky is confident that the merger will be beneficial to both institutions. He adds, “DLSU and STC will continue to work as one community towards better services in providing excellent education.”
As of press time, the committee last met on November 12, 2012.