FOUR PROGRAMS of the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) have been granted the coveted Level 4 accreditation status, the highest rank that can be obtained by an educational institution from the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA).

Economics, Legal Management, Literature, and Philosophy obtained the highest accreditation level after a two-day “survey visit” by PACUCOA accreditors last August 18 and 19.

Legal Management Department Chair Antonio Chua said Level 4 accreditation was an indication that programs had met the standards set for universities. “[The accreditation] will help the University maintain its autonomous status,” he said. “There will be changes in the curriculum but not simply because of the accreditation. We will continue to improve the program for the students.”

Last July, Artlets improved its faculty profile by hiring new instructors to prepare for accreditation and to meet the standard set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) that a faculty member should have at least a master’s degree.

Level 4 accreditation status grants full autonomy to the program for five years. It also enables school administrators to offer new graduate programs, open learning or distance education, and extension classes related to existing Level 4 courses without need for prior approval by the CHEd, provided that the CHEd regional office is duly informed.

According to the PACUCOA website, criteria for Level 4 accreditation include “excellent outcomes in teaching and learning,” research productivity as tool for institutional effectiveness, community service, linkages and consortia, and career planning and development for students.

Accreditation procedures include consultancy visits, preliminary survey visits, a self-survey, a formal visit, a reaccreditation survey visit, and assessment of requirements, the website said.

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Other Artlets programs were earlier granted Level 1 accreditation by PACUCOA. These are Asian Studies, Behavioral Science, Communication Arts, Journalism, Political Science and Sociology.

PACUCOA is “a private accrediting agency that gives formal recognition to an educational institution by attesting that an academic program maintains excellent standards in its educational operations.”

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