QUANTITY meets quality.
The University of Santo Tomas has been recognized as the institution with the highest number of programs accredited by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities’ Commission on Accreditation (Pacucoa).
UST received seven awards during Pacucoa’s 24th Annual General Assembly and awarding ceremonies last Dec. 6 at the Century Park Hotel in Malate, Manila, coinciding with the accrediting body’s 40th foundation anniversary.
The University was also acknowledged for having the most number of Level III reaccredited programs, at 12 degree programs, and for being the top university in Metro Manila in terms of the number of accreditations.
The University’s Food Technology, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy programs were the first of their kind to be granted the Level III reaccredited status in the National Capital Region (NCR) and in the country, while Tourism was the first program to obtain the same status in NCR.
Criteria for Level III reaccreditation include a high standard of instruction, a community outreach program, visible research tradition, strong faculty and staff development, exemplary performance in licensure examinations, local and international linkages, and extensive learning facilities.
The University has a total of 30 Pacucoa-accredited programs..
Following UST were University of Perpetual Help System-Laguna, Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, and Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, with 25 accredited programs each.
Clarita Carillo, vice rector for academic affairs, said the awards were the result of “concerted efforts” of different colleges and faculties. “We have been pushing all the colleges and faculties to aggressively maintain our quality standards and this is just validated by the awards we get,” Carillo told the Varsitarian in a chance interview. “[It] means [students] are enrolled in the correct school. [They] are getting [their] program from an institution that is recognized by an external agency for its quality.”
Rehabilitation Sciences Dean Cheryl Peralta echoed Carillo, saying that accreditation from an external agency like Pacucoa puts a premium on a university’s program.
“[Students] know that they are studying in a program that has the highest level of accreditation. It’s good that someone else tells us we’re good, rather than just claiming that we are,” Peralta said.
Education Dean Clotilde Arcangel said UST’s Food Technology program met all criteria set by Pacucoa.
“We were simply trying to make sure that the students get what they deserve. In so doing, [we had] to undergo accreditation because [it] is one of the marks of quality education,” she said.
The Secondary Education, Elementary Education, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Food Technology programs will apply for Level IV accreditation next academic year, Arcangel said.
Library and Information Science will also prepare for Level I accreditation, now that Pacucoa criteria and instruments for the program are available.