VSU’s agriculture and education programs undergo Level IV (Phase 1) accreditation by AACCUP | Visayas State University

aaccup team

The Agriculture and Education Programs of the Visayas State University (VSU) with Level III Re-Accredited Status accorded by the Accrediting Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP) were subjected for Level IV (Phase 1) Accreditation by the same accrediting agency. The AACCUP Accreditation Team evaluated the seven programs both in the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels of VSU's Agriculture and Education Programs on September 10-14, 2012.

 

The seven programs which were evaluated include: [Undergraduate Programs] Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA), Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED), and Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED); [Graduate Programs] the Master of Science and the Master of Agricultural Development (Agriculture Cluster), and the Master of Science and the Master of Agricultural Development (Education Cluster).

During the opening program, Dr. Oscar B. Posas, Vice President for Instruction, recalled that when VSU submitted for an Institutional Accreditation by AACCUP in November 2010, which the University luckily achieved and earned the accolade as the first-ever university in the country to be given an Institutional Accreditation (Level II), we moved heaven and earth then for the historical activity. "Today we are undergoing another historical milestone especially to Agriculture as we embark for the Level IV Accreditation because there is no Level IV Accredited Agriculture Program yet in the country today. If we succeed, we will again establish that history in partnership with AACCUP," Dr. Posas wishfully said.

Dr. Ma. Teresa SJ Valdez, AACCUP Overall Coordinator, said that Level IV Re-Accredited Status is only awarded to academic programs which are highly respected and very high quality programs in the Philippines with prestige and authority comparable to similar programs in excellent foreign universities. She pointed out that once VSU will be awarded Level IV Re-Accredited Status, it will have a validity of 3-5 years. "Within the period of validity, a regular survey will be conducted to assess if you are maintaining that standing of being Level IV as far as the programs are concerned," Dr. Valdez stressed.

The Accrediting Team used the same instrument and the same criteria from Area I to Area X as what they used during the Third Survey Visit. However, for Level IV, the Team focused their attention to the five important things or aspects. These were: 1) in the area of research in which they looked into the publication of research outputs in the national and international journals; 2) excellence in teaching and learning in terms of performance of graduates in licensure exam, employment, and continuing assessment of achievements of the graduates; 3) community service to see the impact of the contributions VSU has made vis-à-vis the technology that it is promoting or offering to its service communities and how the different agriculture programs impact on the regional and national economy; 4) international linkages and consortia; and 5) the planning process if it is well-developed and whether quality assurance mechanisms are embedded in the planning process or in the short and long-term development plans.

The Mayor of Baybay City, Hon. Carmen L. Cari, commended VSU for its unprecedented growth and achievements as evident in its continuous quest in providing high quality education and agricultural programs which are simply remarkable and worthy of emulation. "In fact, this institution's high quality agriculture and education programs are not solely confined within the Visayas Region or in the Philippines only but they also reached other countries abroad," she pointed out.

The Local Chief Executive also expressed high hopes and expectations that VSU will pass this level with flying colors. "Your wholehearted concerted efforts, dedication and commitment in realizing these achievements aptly deserve this merit," Mayor Cari averred. She further said that LGU Baybay is willing to work hand-in-hand and support VSU in all its undertakings and endeavors.

On the other hand, VSU President Jose L. Bacusmo was delighted by the AACCUP accreditors for they will be helping VSU adhere to standards and improve its academic programs. Dr. Bacusmo said that the University is fully embracing accreditation as a strategy and impetus to improve the quality of its academic programs to provide students with the best possible learning experience.

Dr. Bacusmo emphasized that accreditation by AACCUP has resulted not only in improvement of VSU's programs but also to a significant increase in its government annual appropriations. He revealed that VSU has been identified by CHED as among the leading SUCs and as a consequence its MOOE next year will increase by P24 million. It will also receive this year from the government a funding of P17 million and next year P18.2 million for capital outlay. He further said that being the leading university and a base for PHERNet (Philippine Higher Education Research Network), VSU will receive over three years a total of P55 million research money. "These are unexpected windfall from VSU's passion for accreditation," Dr. Bacusmo mused.

On the other hand, Dr. Manuel T. Corpus, AACCUP Executive Director, encouraged the VSU constituents to make good and hopefully pass the Level IV Accreditation to create another history at AACCUP. Dr. Corpus revealed that there are seven state universities and colleges (SUCs) that applied for Level IV Accreditation and only one passed in the Education Program and no one yet in the Agriculture Program.

He also advised those SUCs with Level III Accreditation to apply for Level IV Accreditation, if not they will lost their Level III Accreditation which is important in the selection for leading institutions in the country and probably it will be counted in the normative financing. "They really have to subject themselves to Level IV Accreditation because it is a win-win solution, either pass it or, if not, they will retain their Level III Accreditation Status which is still a very high level of accreditation," Dr. Corpus said. The AACCUP Executive Director clearly emphasized to the accreditation team to emulate what VSU is doing in the accreditation. In fact, Dr. Corpus was requested by CHED last year to bring the good news to VSU that because of its accreditation status and achievements, VSU's MOOE has been increased by more than 100 percent. He also announced that VSU is not the first SUC in Region 8 to be quite active in accreditation. The one that was most active in accreditation then was the University of Eastern Philippines in Catarman, Northern Samar. "But VSU was able to catch up. It would be a lesson for others that have slowed down or those who have started late because out of 110 SUCs only 104 have so far accredited programs," Dr. Corpus added.

During the closing program, Dr. Valdez acknowledged the efforts made by her fellow accreditors for their amazing work values, wonderful cooperation, objectivity in evaluating the seven programs, the camaraderie, and the laughter they have shared in the midst of the challenging task.

In her general assessment of the accreditation, Dr. Valdez said that VSU stands out a trailblazer in this aspect—quality assurance. She hopes that the findings and recommendations presented during the exit conferences will help shake the ground for VSU to continue improving its systems in the administration of academic programs and delivery of services in support of teaching and learning, research, extension, production, and others. "Hence, VSU has to continue providing the best opportunities to your students, your alumni, and faculty for them to reach their dreams, for them to contribute to the national and global progress," she said.

In general, the AACCUP Overall Coordinator said that faculty credentials and achievements are very impressive, the resources are plenty, and there are many excellent and healthy practices. But Dr. Valdez reiterated that there is no perfect higher education institution. She also noted that University leadership is visionary and inspiring, and no doubt influences others to be highly motivated. She encouraged VSU to continue its excellent adaptation to changing trends and paradigm shifts in higher education system. Dr. Valdez quoted William Foster, saying "Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives." Thus, she believes that VSU is synonymous to quality and excellence.

In his commitment statement, Dr. Bacusmo committed that whatever be the recommendations the accreditors expect from VSU, the University shall work on it, not only because it is a requirement of the accreditation, but because it is committed to give its students the finest learning experience in the University.

Moreover, Dr. Libertad P. Garcia, Regional Director of the Commission on Higher Education of Region VIII who was present during the closing program, encouraged the VSU constituents to continuously improve what they are presently doing. "We are not only satisfied with satisfying our customers, but we have to delight them by doing quality the first time, every time, and all the time," Dr. Garcia said.

Garcia also expressed her happiness for VSU is really into quality improvement and for supporting the mandate of CHED. She further said, that quality is a product of good plan, good choice of the many alternatives, and it is a product of concerted efforts and selfless service to the system.

"Let's be united in delighting our customers (especially our students), work hard, and continue your effort to the call for quality and excellence," CHED Regional Director appealed.

The AACCUP Accreditation Team is composed of the following: Dr. Ma. Teresa SJ Valdez as the Overall Coordinator; Team Leaders - Dr. Edwin F. Macaballug of Isabela State University (Undergraduate Agriculture Program), Dr. Helen F. de los Santos of Philippine Normal University (Elementary Teacher Education Program), Dr. Editha Y. Sillorequez of West Visayas State University (Secondary Teacher Education Program), Dr. Marina R. Sabado of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (Graduate-Master's in Agriculture [MAgDev]), Dr. Celeste V. Francia of Central Bicol State University (Graduate-Master's in Agriculture [MS]), Dr. Stefania W. Collin of Central Luzon State University (Graduate-Master's Education [MagDev]), and Dr. Ricardo L. Ildefonso of Ifugao State University (Graduate-Master's Education [MS]).

The Members were: Dr. Asuncion A. Orbeso, Dr. Emma C. Ventura, Dr. Ester L Mercado, Dr. Felomina T. Dayagbil, Dr. Juanita B. Pascual, Dr. Lolita H. Nava, Dr. Lorena F. Hernandez, Dr. Manolito C. Manuel, Dr. Maria Lulu L. Loyola, Dr. Nida T. Gomez, Dr. Oscar R. Jaballa, Dr. Virginia S. Comadug, and Dr. Zenaida U. Suyat.

Dr. Manuel T. Corpus, AACCUP Executive Director, and Dr. Nilo E. Colinares, AACCUP Asst. Executive Director, were also present during the accreditation.