By Prince Leander Palalon | February 26, 2021
A total of 13 programs in Silliman University will undergo renewal of accreditation this year, to be evaluated by the Philippine Accrediting Agency for Schools, Colleges, University (PAASCU).
According to Dr. Beulah Rose R. Torres, Director of the Office of Instruction (OI), the university’s purpose in seeking accreditation is to obtain confirmation from an external agency that this (Silliman University) is an excellent university and ensure that its graduates’ level of academic achievement is maintained and continuously improved.
The OI has assisted in the accreditation process by scheduling each program for sessions. This is to update the office on the preparations that each college has made for PAASCU’s upcoming on-site visit. The OI mentors the coordinators and faculty of each program, particularly in addressing the compliance reports presented by the accreditors.
The accreditation process will be done online and will utilize the Silliman Online University Learning (SOUL) system, which, according to Torres, “is a big help because, with their staff’s assistance, zoom meetings occur in this platform.”
A study conducted by the OI revealed that there are five areas of focus that the departments need to look into. These include physical facilities, library utilization, faculty training, faculty research, and faculty development.
“Its biggest challenge is to strengthen its system and processes to embed quality culture in every area in PAASCU’s self-survey instrument,” said Dr. Torres. “[The real challenge is] in the individual faculty’s commitment to truly exemplify their three-fold mandated functions: to teach, research, and serve the community. Accreditors expect a balance among these tripartite functions.”
Dr. Madeline Quiamco, dean of the College of Mass Communication, shared that the College of Mass Communication was set to undergo accreditation in September 2020 but was postponed to September this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Dr. Quiamco, the CMC currently has a level IV accreditation rank. In preparation, the department is basing its improvements on areas wherein PAASCU would inspect such as the college’s curriculum, methodologies, faculty, and facilities.
“MassCom started preparing for the accreditation even before the pandemic. We went back to the comments of PAASCU in 2015 to know where we need to improve, ” Dr. Quiamco said.
“Since the 2015 accreditation, we’ve had a lot of improvements already. An example of this was when we implemented the new curriculum, beginning in 2018.”
The college dean shared that the proposed improvements include the introduction of an enriched curriculum, the development of community-related methodologies, the upgrading of facilities to avoid obsolescence, a meaningful “facelift” of the College of Mass Communication, and an increased rate of collaboration with other colleges.
“All of this is being done in the online method and it has proved challenging for the faculty of the College of Mass Communication,” Dr. Quiamco said. She added that “the online method of instruction is but a mode of instruction. The content is the same and there is no replacement for good content.”
CMC has done its best to adapt to this new form of teaching and learning. Subsequently, all the preparations made for the accreditation have been shifted to fit the online field. The dean shared that the objectives of the accreditation are the same, only the mode of instruction has changed.
The college underwent challenges in the preparation such as encoding physical files to online formats and updating all of their documents that concern the PAASCU accreditation.The college underwent challenges in the preparation, such as encoding physical files to online formats and updating all of their documents concerning the PAASCU accreditation.
According to Quiamco, the current pandemic situation hindered both PAASCU’s and CMC’s efforts in the supposed physical inspection, including facilities and classes.
The following programs to undergo accreditation are the following:
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Mass Communication
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology
- Bachelor of Elementary Education
- Bachelor of Secondary Education
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Computer Science Program
- Information System Program
- Information Technology Program
- Medical Technology Program
- Grade School Program