TWO INDEPENDENT national accrediting bodies have affirmed the quality of Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program and all six programs of the Faculty of Engineering.

The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities-Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) awarded the Level IV accredited status, the highest recognition, to the Pharmacy program last May 12.

The Pharmacy program satisfactorily met all the criteria, namely: excellent outcomes in teaching and learning, research productivity as tool for institutional effectiveness, community service, linkages and consortia, career planning and development for students, and planning process.

According to PACUCOA, academic programs granted the coveted Level IV status are “highly respected” in the country, with prestige and authority comparable to similar programs in excellent foreign universities.

“Our PACUCOA accreditation for Level IV status is a collaborative work among administrative officials of the college, faculty members, and students who were motivated to achieve this goal for our program,” Pharmacy Dean Ma. Elena Manansala told the Varsitarian. “It means a high-quality standard, [and] national and international recognition of the program in a prevailing culture of excellence.”

The Pharmacy program will have full autonomy from government regulators until April 2019.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Engineering was promoted to Level III status by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), after passing rigorous evaluation.

All six programs of the faculty—civil, chemical, mechanical, industrial, electrical, and electronics engineering—passed a re-accreditation process and will have Level III status until November 2018, according to a May 18 letter from PAASCU addressed to Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P.

Level III status allows colleges to offer new courses without prior approval, and to apply to offer new graduate programs, open or distance learning, and extension classes. These are on top of Level I and II privileges such as administrative and financial deregulation.

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Level III is just one step below Level IV, the highest level, which grants full autonomy.

Engineering Dean Philipina Marcelo attributed the achievement to improvements such as a more stringent student admission process and the establishment of an "accreditation team."

“As soon as I started in office in November 2012, I started to form our accreditation team. This is in accordance with our 'Engineering… of our restless being,' our three-year Strategic Plan [for] A.Y. 2013-2014 to A.Y. 2015-2016, which is a massive campaign for excellence in the faculty in order to achieve global recognition,” Marcelo said in an email. The engineering faculty is aiming for better productivity in its research and innovation projects, she added.

“Our goal is for our students to have the best college experience. We want to keep improving because we want our students to keep enjoying the very best that we could possibly offer them in the faculty,” she said. Arianne F. Merez and Bianca Kristin A. Taray

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