What is accreditation for?
Accreditation is a mechanism to assure quality education, as seen in such outputs as significant improvements in the quality of facilities, services and teachers, higher level of competence of graduates and success in employment. It stimulates the pursuit of excellence; encourages compliance with quality specifications and objective standards; and results in empowerment. These benefits of accreditation have apparently been felt by the public as indicated in their preference of enrolling into accredited schools.
What is the long-term advantage of having a large number of accredited colleges and universities for our society?
Accreditation is a framework/approach to improve the quality of an educational institution along the different facets of its operations through self-survey and validation of an independent external/third party evaluator. The focus of the evaluation covers a comprehensive ground, i.e., nine (9) areas starting from the philosophy, vision and mission, in the context of which, the other aspects of operations of a school are evaluated such as faculty, instruction, library, laboratories, physical plant and facilities, student personnel services, social orientation and community involvement and organization and administration. Each of the areas contain numerous criteria/attributes of an ideal school. Thus, if an institution is able to comply with all the requirements enumerated under the aforementioned nine areas, it will achieve a level of excellence that cannot be found in a school that did not undergo this evaluation process. Rizal believed that the school is a book where the future of society can be seen. Therefore, if we have quality schools then we will have a better society. The more number of accredited schools would mean a better quality society.
How does PACUCOA encourage/motivate institutions with non-accredited program to work for accreditation?
Regular publications, networking, orientation on accreditation visits are done where the agency highlights the positive impact and benefits of accreditation.
How would you assess the quality of education in the country, given the increasing number of accredited schools and programs?
Only about 20% of educational institutions have undergone accreditation. However, the results of accreditation to those schools are encouraging. If you do a survey of these institutions, roughly about ninety-five per cent of these schools are experiencing the expected outcomes of this endeavor, which can be seen in indicators such as significant improvement in the quality of facilities, library, laboratories, services and teachers, increase in the percentage of board passers, success in employment and higher level of competence of graduates, empowerment of administrators, faculty, non-teaching personnel and students.
How will a graduate of an accredited school or program benefit?
Accreditation results in quality graduates, as seen in such outputs as increase in the percentage of board passers, success in employment and higher level of competence of graduates. In fact many companies both local and abroad prefer hiring/promoting graduates of accredited schools because of the quality, high level of responsibility and dependability of these graduates.
What procedures does a school follow in applying for accreditation?
- A school seeking accreditation files a formal application with PACUCOA
- PACUCOA Manual of Accreditation, Survey Forms and other relevant materials are sent to the applicant school for its guidance in going through the whole process of accreditation. PACUCOA policy stipulates that any applicant school must undergo a formal orientation on accreditation prior to undertaking the self-survey process.
- The applicant school conducts its own self-evaluation within one (1) year, using as guide the officially approved evaluative criteria and instrument prescribed by PACUCOA.
- When the applicant school completes its self-survey and evaluation, it submits a report thereof to the Commission.
- Upon review of the self-survey report, the Commission sends a Preliminary Team of Accreditors to verify the applicant school’s readiness for formal evaluation.
- The PACUCOA Preliminary Team of Accreditors submits its evaluation report to the Commission. On the basis of the team’s favorable recommendation, the Commission decides when the applicant school will be visited by a Formal Survey Team. Should the Commission find that an applicant school is deficient in certain requirements which are substantive in nature, it may at its discretion withhold its decision and give the school reasonable time within which to comply with the requirements to qualify for formal visit.
- Upon implementation of the recommendations given in the report of the Preliminary Team of Accreditors, the applicant school informs the PACUCOA Secretariat of its readiness for a Formal Team Visit.
- The PACUCOA Board of Directors shall commission an accreditation team to conduct a formal on-site visit.
- After the applicant school has been visited by a Formal Survey Team and the Accrediting Team’s Report has been submitted, the Commission renders its decision on whether or not the applicant school is to be extended accredited status valid for three years
- Request for a re-accreditation visit must be made six months prior to the expiration of the accredited status. A self-survey report and ratings on the areas of survey will have to be accomplished again and submitted along with the report of the actions taken on the recommendations of the previous survey visit.
Reaccredidation visit is conducted the same way as the formal visit.
How are educational institutions classified by level of accreditation?
For purposes of progressive deregulation and the grant of other benefits, CHED Order No. 01, s. 2005 (revised Policies on Voluntary Accreditation and Deregulation) classifies educational programs into:
“Institutions/programs which have undergone a preliminary survey visit and are capable of attaining accredited status within one or two years."
Level I: Accredited Status
“Institutions/programs which have been granted initial accreditation and or continuing accreditation by FAAP for this level."
Level II: Re-accredited Status
“Institutions/programs which have been re-accredited by the accrediting agency and duly certified by the federation/network, effective for a period of three or five years based on the appraisal of the accrediting agency."
Level III: Re-accredited Status
“Institutions/programs which have been re-accredited and which have met the additional criteria set by FAAP for this level."
Level IV: Accredited Status
“Institutions/programs which are highly respected for having maintained very high educational standards and with prestige and quality comparable to similar programs in excellent foreign institutions/programs."
“Refers to the evaluation of the whole educational Institution. Institutional accreditation is granted upon compliance with the FAAP approved-criteria."