Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ateneo Still Center Of Excellence In SM

Ateneo, UIC: Two Schools in Southern Mindanao Enjoying Autonomous Status

There are 85 private and public higher education institutions in Southern Mindanao and only two of them---the Ateneo de Davao University and the University of Immaculate Conception are enjoying the Autonomous Status.

“The autonomous and deregulated status is given by the Commission on Higher Education to private HEI’s that have shown exemplary performance in their education program including research and extension services,” CHED XI Education Supervisor Engr, Luis Perez said.

Ateneo, a private Sectarian institution, was the first higher education institution to have been given an Autonomous Status in the region for 5 years. The status was renewed last November 2007 and will last up to November 14, 2012 after ADDU once again proved it was qualified to be deregulated. The University of Immaculate Concepcion has just been given the Autonomous status.

Perez said a school with Autonomous status is no longer directly supervised by CHED administrative-wise. The school can open new programs without getting approval from CHED. Schools with Autonomous status enjoy a lot of perks aside from independence since they are the priority in case of financial assistance from CHED. These schools also get the first chance when there are scholarship programs like the Faculty Development Programs.

One of the most obvious benefits of being an Autonomous School is that they are no longer required to get a Special Order or SO. This is an order required by the CHED to certify that the school’s educational program is already certified. Autonomous schools like Ateneo and UIC are no longer required to get an SO since they are no longer regulated by CHED.

There are certain criteria before an institution is given an Autonomous Status and one of this is that most of the school’s programs are already accredited by PAASCU or the other private accreditation agencies which signifies that the institution is offering quality education. The institution should also prove that it is a center of excellence, a status also given by CHED to schools that meet certain criteria. “A high percentage in Board results is a big factor in granting the center of excellence status to an institution,” he said.

The State Universities like the University of the Philippines and the University of Southeastern Philippines are however a different story since these are chartered institutions created by law and financially supported by the government. State universities also enjoy administrative freedom so they can operate as many programs without CHED intervention. The state universities are governed by a Board of Regents which is headed by the CHED Chairman,

“Schools that enjoy an Autonomous Status are schools that are over and above the minimum standards set by the government,” Perez said. Thus, you can always rely on these schools to provide quality education.(published, THE EDGE, April 2008)

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