“If you want to see the best institutionally accredited SUC [state university or college], go to the Visayas State University.”

Dr. Manuel T. Corpus, founding president and executive director of the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP), said this message during the exit conference of level 3 phase 2 accreditation held from February 18 to 19, 2018 at the Center for Continuing Education (CCE).

In the same speech, Dr. Corpus emphasized the distinction of VSU as the highest and the lone university in the country to be accorded with a level III institutional accreditation among the 116 state universities and colleges all over the Philippines.

“The [degree] programs are very strong,” reveals the AACCUP founding chair in a private interview after the exit conference. “Although some areas are not as strong, but generally, all the programs [evaluated] are doing great.”

Dr. Danilo S. Hilario, one of the visiting accreditors, also supported the overall impression of Dr. Corpus. He explained that the areas found to be weak by the accrediting team are not really areas of concern, but only areas that require some minor improvement.

Likewise, the other members of the accrediting team gave a very positive general impression and a resounding congratulations to all the eight programs evaluated for successfully hurdling the two-day accreditation event.

The eight programs evaluated are agricultural engineering, biology, chemistry, computer science, development communication, food science and technology, forestry and veterinary medicine.

Self accreditation

In an interview, Dr. Corpus disclosed that the evaluation results for the level 3 phase 2 accreditation of eight degree programs are very good which may lead to VSU being entrusted by AACCUP the full authority to do self accreditation by 2025, or even earlier.

“A mature university granted this authority can give full accreditation to its own programs on behalf of AACCUP. Many of VSU’s programs are already level III and some have level IV status. Institutionally, VSU holds the highest level of accreditation in the country. So I think VSU is ready to accredit its own programs in the future”, explains Dr. Corpus.

VSU accomplished many first in the history of AACCUP. In 2010, VSU was the first institution in the country to go through institutional accreditation. Last year, VSU was also the pioneering institution to facilitate its own preliminary survey visit on behalf of AACCUP. In the same year, VSU was accorded level III institutional accreditation, the only one in the country to obtain such a distinction as of this time.

If given the chance to do self accreditation, VSU will also be the first university in the country to be subjected to self evaluation.

 Devcom as a separate college

The accreditor who was particularly assigned to assess the Department of Development Communication (DDC) recommended for the elevation of the unit as a separate college.

“It’s time that the department reap its success being a [CHED] Center of Development in the country,” Dr. Hilario said as he explained how DDC is strongly qualified to stand as a distinct college.

He particularly commended the department’s mentoring program of the senior faculty to the junior faculty. However, the accreditor also pushed for the allocation of a bigger space or a separate building solely for DDC while further strengthening its ongoing collaborations and linkages to regional and national agencies.

DDC first obtained its CHED Center of Development status in 2012 and was renewed in 2015. Presently, it shares the stage with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and the Batangas State University (BatSU) as the best development communication schools in the country.

Commitment to excellence

Dr. Beatriz S. Belonias, the Vice President for Instruction, was delighted to hear the overall impression and initial results presented by the accreditors during the exit conference. She continued by challenging VSU not to not sit on its laurels because there are still many programs that require attention and continuous improvement.

“We are committed at VSU to improve the quality of our programs and that of our graduates. We will not tire in searching for more feasible solutions to our existing problems and to further harness our existing strengths,” Dr. Belonias added.

Dr. Dilberto O. Ferraren, the newly designated OIC Vice President for Planning, Resource Generation and External Affairs (OVPRGEA), complemented the message of Vice President Belonias by highlighting VSU’s commitment to excellence.

“In the strive for perfection, we always get excellence. We should work harder, show what we have and do the best we can so we can achieve that societal dignity as an institution and become excellent,” says Dr. Ferraren.

In the coming months, several VSU programs will undergo quality assurance activities such as AACCUP levels I and II, CHED Institutional Sustainability Assessment (ISA) and the ASEAN University Network (AUN) Quality Assurance Evaluation (QAE).