UST’s Journalism program has been declared a Center of Development (COD) after a series of evaluations by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines was also conferred the COD status, while University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman is the lone higher education institution that obtained the Center of Excellence (COE) status in journalism.

The recognition given by CHEd last March 22 to the journalism programs of the three universities will be effective until May 2014.

Asst. Prof. Jeremaiah Opiniano of the Faculty of Arts and Letters said UST must open a graduate program in journalism to attain COE status. He also pointed to the need to improve the research output of the country’s oldest journalism school.

“Research in the program needs improvement. It’s not only the students who must do research but the teachers as well,” Opiniano said.

The research and publications criteria of CHEd account for a hefty 30 percent of the overall score, requiring the program to have “at least 75 percent of full-time faculty members with journalistic works, books, researches or academic articles published in reputable or refereed journals in the last five years.”

Other criteria are Instructional Quality (45 percent), Extension and Linkages (20 percent), and Institutional Qualifications (five percent).

While the University is recognized worldwide, Opiniano said the journalism program should also “think in a global perspective while responding to the needs of the Philippine media industry.”

“The award (COD status) will be the first step to making that long journey to become a global journalism school,” he said.

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Earlier, UST’s Psychology program also obtained the COD status.

UST has seven other programs with COD status, six of which are from the Faculty of Engineering. These are Physical Therapy, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

The Biology, Chemistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Teacher Education programs of UST are COEs.

Should a program receive a COD or a COE status, the school is entitled to request a certain amount of financial assistance or monetary subsidiaries for the program depending on the submitted project proposals for evaluation and approval. Cez Mariela Teresa G. Verzosa

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