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AdZU: All Set for PAASCU Visit

by Zacharee Masamayor, The Beacon Publications Correspondent

In its continued pursuit of excellence as a Jesuit institution of higher education, the Ateneo de Zamboanga University is once again submitting itself to the quality assurance process of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).

PAASCU last evaluated AdZU’s Arts and Sciences, Business and Accountancy, Education, and Nursing programs in 2014 when they were issued Level III accreditation status.  Since then, AdZU has been preparing these programs for the accrediting body’s return on August 5-6, 2019. Among the major preparations made was the conduct of a mock visit by University officials in September 2018, simulating an actual on-site evaluation, focused on following up the implementation of PAASCU’s recommendations from the previous visit.

AdZU began implementing the recommendations for the various areas right after the 2014 accreditation, under the supervision of then Academic Vice President Dr. Rebecca V Fernandez, current Assistant to the President for Quality Assurance and Leadership Development, who monitored the progress of the implementation, with Fr Marcos Louis Catalan Jr, SJ, Vice President for Higher Education, heading the committee in charge of the preparations for the PAASCU visit. Among the areas evaluated are faculty, instruction, administration, student services, community involvement, library, laboratories, and physical plant.

PAASCU is a private nonprofit organization that upholds quality education through their accreditation standards and peer review process. It looks into the school’s mission, vision, and objectives and see how these are achieved in the various aspects of the school’s operations.

The accreditation process, which is voluntary in nature, provides a means for a university to improve by achieving more than the minimum requirements set by government. An accreditation from PAASCU entitles the school to numerous benefits. For one, an accredited institution is granted full administrative and financial deregulation and awarded grants and funding assistance. In addition, the accredited institution would be given the authority to open new programs and courses without prior approval from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Aside from the tertiary unit, the Grade School and Junior High School units of Basic Education have also been given the Level III accreditation valid until November 2019 and December 2020, respectively.