SCHOOL ACREDITION >>
PAASCU stands for Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities. It is private, voluntary, non-profit and non-stock corporation which was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 2, 1957. PAASCU is a service organization which accredits academic programs which meet commonly accepted standards of quality education.
In November 1967, the Bureau of Education and Culture (now the Department of Education, Culture and Sports) officially recognized PAASCU and endorsed its work as an accrediting agency.
- What are its objectives?
- What is ACCREDITATION?
- What are the basic characteristics of ACCREDITATION?
- Why private, voluntary ACCREDITATION?
- What are PAASCU'S standards?
- How are these standards measured?
- What areas are evaluated during the survey?
- What is the difference between PROGRAM ACCREDITATION & INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION?
- Which programs are accredited by PAASCU?
- What are the categories of membership in PAASCU?
- How are educational institutions classified by DECS?
- What are the benefits and incentives for the various levels?
- Are there other advantages?
- Are member schools entitled to any services?
- Accreditation Process
What are its Objectives?
PAASCU's objectives are as follows:
- To stimulate and integrate the efforts of institutions to elevate the standards of education in the Philippines, in both rural and urban areas.
- To strengthen the capabilities of the educational institutions for service to the nation.
- To identify educational institutions which meet or exceed stated criteria of educational quality.
- To encourage and assist institutions which have the potential and interest to improve themselves through continuing evaluation and self-surveys.
- To provide counsel and assistance to established and developing institutions and programs.
- To provide a basis for institutional relationships, particularly in the transfer of students.
- To provide guidance to students and parents in the choice of institutions and programs.
- To attract financial aid from government and other sources for accredited programs and schools applying for accreditation.
What is Accreditation?
- a concept based on self-regulation which focuses on evaluation and the continuing improvement of educational quality.
- a process by which institutions or programs continuously upgrade their educational quality and services through self-evaluation and the judgment of peers.
- a status granted to an educational institution or program which meets commonly accepted standards of quality or excellence.
What are the basic characteristics of Accreditation?
The basic characteristics of accreditation are:
- its prevailing sense of volunteerism;
- its strong tradition of self-regulation;
- its reliance on evaluation techniques;
- its primary concern with quality.
Why Private, Voluntary Accreditation?
In general, all educational institutions in the Philippines go through one form of accreditation – “recognition by the government”. Government recognition is, however, inadequate for purposes of identifying and determining educational quality. Thus, private voluntary accreditation provides the opportunity for an educational institution to attain standards above those prescribed as minimum requirements by the government.Back To Top
What are PAASCU'S Standards?
The Association does not impose arbitrary standards.
The survey forms developed by PAASCU identify principles and practices which are found in excellent institutions. The statements in the survey forms are more qualitative rather than quantitative. The Association does not have specific formulas to apply or particular patterns of organization to follow. The criteria and survey instruments are merely tools to help the school measure educational quality. They are intended to serve as a guide for institutions as they strive for excellence and for accreditors as they assess institutional achievement.
The standards reflect a realistic appraisal of the school's resources and their efficient utilization to help the institution achieve its goals.Back To Top
How are these standards measured?
Much emphasis is placed on the formulation of the school's purposes and objectives. Only when its goals are clear can the school discover the extent to which such purposes and objectives are being achieved.
Essential in the accreditation process is the self-survey made by an institution applying for accreditation. The self-survey is an analysis by its own staff of the institution's educational resources and effectiveness in relation to its own purposes and objectives.
PAASCU judges an institution not by comparison with other institutions but primarily by the degree to which each institution's own avowed purposes are matched by actual practice in the various areas being evaluated. Thus, a school is judged on the basis of the “total pattern” presented by it.Back To Top
What areas are evaluated during the survey?
During the survey visits, the following areas are evaluated:
- College/School Community Involvement
- Physical Plant
- Student Services
On the grade school level, the area on laboratories (No. 5 above) is omitted; instead, Student Activity Program is added.Back To Top
What is the difference between program accreditation and institutional Accreditation?
“Program accreditation” refers to the accreditation of academic courses such as liberal arts, sciences, education, commerce, etc. PAASCU's policy extends accreditation by program. This means that individual courses of study, such as liberal arts, sciences, commerce, and education are evaluated by PAASCU and given proper accreditation.
In contrast, “institutional accreditation” refers to the accreditation of the school, college or institution as a whole. Under PAASCU policy, institutional accreditation is not undertaken by itself; only individual programs are accredited. Only when all the programs of an institution are accredited may that particular institution be considered an accredited institution under PAASCU policy.
PAASCU accreditation of a high school and a grade school is considered program accreditation.Back To Top
Which programs are accredited by PAASCU?
On the college level, PAASCU accredits courses or programs in:
- Liberal Arts/Sciences
- Social Work
- Medical Technology
- Computer Science
- Radiologic Technology
- Physical/Occupational Therapy
- Interior Design/Fine Arts
- Hotel and Restaurant Management
PAASCU began accreditation of secondary schools in 1965. The accreditation of elementary schools was started in 1971. Graduate school accreditation began 1988.Back To Top
What are the categories of membership in PAASCU?
The accreditation process consists of several stages. Each one identified with a particular status of the institution applying for membership. Each of these stages has certain requirements and qualifications which are described in detail on pages 10-13 of this primer. The first category is applicant status, followed by candidate status, and followed finally by member status.Back To Top
How are educational institutions classified by DECS?
For purposes of progressive deregulation and the grant of other benefits, CHED Order No. 31 s. 1995 9Policies on Voluntary Accreditation in Aid of Quality and Excellence in Higher Education) classifies educational programs into:
- Level I: Applicant Status – “Institutions/programs which have undergone a preliminary survey visit and are capable of attaining accredited status within one or two years.”
- Level II: Accredited Status – “Institutions/programs which have undergone formal accreditation and have been granted initial accreditation set by FAAP for this level.”
- Level III: Re-accredited Status – “Institutions/programs which have been accredited and which have met the additional criteria set by FAAP for this level.”
- Level IV: Re-accredited Status – “Institutions/programs which have distinguished themselves in a broad area of academic discipline and enjoy prestige and authority comparable to that of international universities.”
What are the benefits and incentives for the various levels?
The following benefits for the different accreditation levels shall be provided:
- Partial Administrative Deregulation
Exemption from compliance with prescribed administrative operational requirements, such as need for approval of class and teacher's programs, trimestral submission of enrolment lists, and reports of promotion of students. Form IX may also be submitted without the previously required documents and authority to grant teaching overload in meritorious cases.
- Full administrative deregulation, provided that reports of promotion of students and lists of graduates are available for review by CHED at all times.
- Financial deregulation in terms of setting of tuition and other school fees and charges.
- Partial curricular autonomy which shall include the authority to revise the curricula without CHED approval provided that CHED and Professional Regulation Commission minimum requirements and guidelines, where applicable, are complied with and the revised curriculum is submitted to CHED Regional Offices.
- Authority to graduate students from accredited courses or programs of study in the levels accredited without prior approval of the CHED and without need for Special Orders.
- Priority in terms of available funding assistance for scholarships, library materials, laboratory equipment and other development activities.
- Priority for government subsidy for faculty development.
- Right use on its publications or advertisements the word “ACCREDITED” pursuant to CHED policies and rules.
- Limited visitation, inspection and / or supervision by CHED supervisory personnel or representatives.
- All the benefits for Level II.
- Full curricular deregulation, including the authority to offer new courses allied to existing Level III courses, without need for prior approval provided that CHED, through the appropriate Higher Education Regional Office (HERO), is duly informed before offering such new programs.
- All the benefits for Level II and Level III.
- Awards of grants/subsidies from the Higher Education Development Fund for programs of qualified tertiary educational institutions for the period or duration of its Level IV accredited status, as approved by the CHED, in accordance with the HEDF Guidelines.
- Grant of charter or full autonomy for the duration of its Level IV accredited status of the institution.
Are there other advantages?
Yes. Membership in PAASCU:
- Gives the institution and its faculty a sense of direction based on a clearer self-image.
- Facilities transfer of students.
- Provides guidance for parents and students in the choice of worthy schools.
- Lends prestige for member schools, justified by the possession of quality standards and the unremitting effort to maintain them at a high level.
Are member schools entitled to any services?
Yes. The following services are available to member schools:
- Consultancy services: PAASCU makes available to institutions its accreditation consultancy services to assist them in their institutional self-survey process and in their preparation for survey visits.
- Complementary assistance to institutional programs: Complementing the institution's own efforts at upgrading academic standards and in-service for administrative personnel, PAASCU organizes various training seminars, workshops and conferences in such areas as Instruction, Library Services, Student Personnel Services, Administration, College and Community Involvement.
- Liaison and cooperation with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and the Commission on Higher Education: PAASCU seeks to assist members in identifying areas of liaison and cooperation with DECS and CHED regional offices.
The Accreditation Process
An educational institution committed to institutional self-improvement through the guidance of PAASCU may request to become an Applicant Institution.
- Application letter from the President or Director of the Institution, addressed to the PAASCU Board of Directors.
- DECS/CHED certificate of recognition
- Submission of the documents supporting the institution's case for acceptance should include the institution's objectives, history, organizational structure and by-laws, principal administrators, number of faculty members, number of students, and any other materials/brochures/manuals/publications.
- Payment of an application fee.
Terms and Conditions
- Application status is granted for a maximum period of three (3) years, except when extended by specification of the Board of Directors.
- Written Annual Progress Report, briefly outlining the progress of the institution in specific areas, is due on or before the first week of May.
PAASCU's Actions and Responsibilities
- Formal acceptance as an Applicant Institution.
- Assistance through School Improvement program and Consultancy Services.
- Review of the Annual Progress Report by the Commission concerned (Graduate School, Higher Education, Secondary Education or Elementary Education.)
The candidate status is granted to institutions which have completed their preliminary surveys and are preparing for initial accreditation. Candidacy is not accreditation and does not assure eventual accreditation. It is an indication that an institution is progressing toward accreditation.
- Completion of a preliminary survey.
- Implementation of the recommendations of the preliminary survey team.
- Completion of an Institutional Self-Survey using PAASCU survey forms.
- Submission of the accomplished Self-Survey at least one (1) month prior to the Formal Survey Visit.
Terms and Conditions
- Candidate status is granted by the Board of Directors until such time that the institution meets the requirements of a Member Institution.
- The institution should implement the recommendations of the preliminary survey teams.
PAASCU's Actions and Responsibilities
- Consultancy services, particularly during the Institutional Self-Survey process, are made available.
- Scheduling of a Formal Survey Visit upon Request of the institution.
A Candidate Institution which has fulfilled the requirements of accreditation may be granted Member status.
- The Institution should receive a favorable rating during a Formal Survey Visit conducted by a PAASCU Accrediting Team.
- The Institution should strive to implement the recommendations of the Formal Survey Team.
- Payment of the membership fee.
Terms and Conditions
Favorable evaluation by a PAASCU Formal Team leads to the granting of accreditation for a period of three (3) years. With this, the institution becomes a full member of the Association. At the end of the initial three-year accreditation period, the school undergoes another self-evaluation. It then applies for re–accreditation. If the second formal visit is favorable, then accreditation is awarded for a period of five years.
PAASCU's Actions and Responsibilities
- Consultancy services to strengthen the areas needing improvement.
- Assistance through school improvement program and services.
- Continued liaison with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and the Commission on Higher Education.