Redefining Quality Education through Accreditation: Benedicto College's route to Academic Excellence
Any organization would aspire for quality operation which ultimately translates to high customer satisfaction and institutional growth. Specifically this encompasses cutting-edge manpower, products and services. There is no way that it can be realized overnight. This requires years of consistent hardwork and commitment to quality assurance. Making hings right and over and above what others are doing are keys to achieving this goal. Oftentimes for public relation and marketing purposes, some organizations would end up trumpeting to the community that they have the best of everything. The standards, evaluative mechanisms, assessors are major areas in ascertaining whether such claim is true or otherwise. A third party accreditation is the answer. An accreditation that is anchored on objective assessment of various key quality areas where rubrics are studied and standards are peer reviewed. This is Benedicto College’s route to academic excellence.
In the world of academia, accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the agency.
Throughout the world, academic institutions have long embraced the concepts ad practices of voluntary accreditation. The Philippines has accrediting agencies whose aim is to evaluate schools against certain standards. The school that has certain level of accreditation from any of the recognized accrediting agencies means it has fulfilled the basic requirements way above what are being set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) or the Department of Education (DepEd). And so this system of accreditation has been the basis for CHED in granting certain privileges such as prioritization of institutional support and autonomy or a certain degree of independence from its monitoring functions.
In keeping with the demand of the 21st century education, Benedicto College has embarked on what is considered a long-term undertaking that necessitates upgrading and or overhaul of key areas such as school’s philosophies and objectives, faculty qualification, physical plant, research, library, curriculum and instruction, among others. Such much-needed revamp in the said areas would take not only a year but a number of years to keep aligned with set standards.
Under the umbrella of the Federation of Accrediting Agencies in the Philippines (FAAP) which aims to raise the quality and excellence, the relevance and responsiveness, and the efficiency and effectiveness of its member schools, there are two accrediting bodies that Benedicto College has voluntarily submitted for accreditation. These are the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) and the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities (ACSCU).
PACUCOA, founded in 1932 with full membership in the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) in 2004 and awarded for ISO 9001-2008 version from the Société Generale de Surveillance (SGS) and The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), is a private accrediting agency which gives formal recognition to an educational institution by attesting that its academic program maintains excellent standards in its educational operations, in the context of its aims and objectives.
ACSCU, on the other hand, “was established in 1946 under the guidance of the Almighty God. It recognizes and commits itself to the sacred task of providing quality Christian education and promoting among its members a sense of unity, understanding and fellowship for better service to the community.” As a founding member of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), it cooperates with COCOPEA member associations, namely: the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAPSCU), and the Technical Vocational School Associations of the Philippines (TVSA).
Benedicto College has already committed for quality assurance. In 2016, the following programs have already undergone the orientation phase which includes the initial self-survey necessary for the preliminary visit. And so far all the programs have passed with flying colors. The programs are: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with major in Marketing Management and Human Resource Development Management, Bachelor in Elementary Education, Bachelor in Secondary Education major in English, and for Basic Education: Pre-Elementary, Elementary and Junior High School.
In the words of the Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ambassador Francisco L. Benedicto, “My vision for Benedicto College is to become a university and be one of the top quality schools, not only in the region but in the entire country”.