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10th ALCUCOA National Conference “Next Generation Quality Assurance For LCUs in the World of Disruptive Innovation” A Successful Endeavor

Compared to past National Conferences, the 10th ALCUCOA National Conference (held last October 10 and 11, 2017) was a departure from the usual ambiance of the University of Makati campus. Almost 200 participants from various locally funded colleges and universities graced the occasion which was held at the HERITAGE HOTEL. The participants were far from the distractions of the problems from their LCUs, but near to the delights of Roxas Boulevard, Macapagal Avenue and Manila Bay. What’s new with this year’s National Conference was the chance for the participants to concentrate, focus, and digest the presentations and the discussions of guest speakers.

The highly acclaimed political analyst, Commissioner Dr. J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III from CHED was the keynote speaker for this event. He talked about the implications and impact of federalism towards quality assurance in higher education in the perspective of both CHED and LCUs. A stronger partnership between CHED and the LCUs is needed to ensure a Win-Win approach if federalism comes in the picture of higher education policy formulation and implementation. The response of ALCU to CHED was presented by the innovative leader of LCUs in the country, Prof. TOMAS B. LOPEZ, Jr., ALCU President and UMak President. He highlighted the importance of going back to the very nature of being LCUs or LUCs, which is providing the less fortunate people of the locality with accessible quality education, especially for higher education. LCUs are different, so let us have our own quality assurance measures which are responsive to the needs of our locality while we fulfill the minimum requirements of CHED. Mayor Rommel Gecolea of Cabuyao, Laguna, gave a very inspiring response representing the Local Government Units and their Local Chief Executives for their continuously providing their LCUs or LUCs with visionary leadership, financial and logistical support.

Looking back at the very roots of education, the ALCUCOA invited the book provider, the youth educators advocate, Mr. DON TIMOTHY I. BUHAIN, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Rex Book Store, Inc. to share with the participants the very reason why LCUs should be in the business of quality assurance—the BATA (the YOUTH). Moreover, to widen the experiences on quality assurance, a distinguished gentleman, former DOJ Secretary and present University of Batangas (UB) President, DR. HERNANDO PEREZ presented the experience of UB on setting standards of quality education through the years in Batangas.

Similarly, the AACCUP Accreditation strongman, Dr. MANUEL T. CORPUZ showed the way of how AACCUP developed its quality assurance instruments, systems and processes through various phases. AACCUP is the partner of ALCUCOA under the NNQAA. Likewise, the PACUCOA leader, Dr. ADLAI C. CASTIGADOR was invited to discuss the prospects and challenges of Outcomes Based Quality Assurance. Outcomes based quality assurance has been a challenge among HEIs in the country for the past few years and is continuously influencing its direction.

In order to balance the discussions on quality assurance, the need to have a healthy working environment also involves healthy living and proper recognition of rights. As such the Health and Wellness Advocate, Ms. CORY R. QUIRINO, National Director, Miss World Philippines, and the Women’s rights enthusiast, Hon. ANNA DOMINIQUE L. COSETENG, Former Senator and the current President of Diliman College, were invited to share their experiences and insights on healthy lifestyle, gender equality, and their impact on higher education quality assurance.

Also included in the list of presenters were representatives of LCUs with best practices in accreditation like Dr. CHRISTIE JEAN V. GANIERA, former President of KCAST, and current President of Compostela Valley State College (board member of ALCUCOA), Dr. PHEOBE R. SESE, President of City College of Calamba, Dr. LEI KRISTEL S. LONTOC, President of Trece Martirez City College as represented by Prof. CANOY, Prof. ALBERT D. MADRIGAL, Executive Vice President, Pamantasan ng Cabuyao. All in all, the ALCUCOA National Conference aimed to present bits and pieces of the big picture that there is a need to look at the LCUs role in Quality Assurance in the midst of uncertainties and various external and internal challenges. As Dr. Arcega stated “accreditation is not just an expense, it is an investment. We should have that humility to allow third party organizations to come to us and tell everyone in the community what we did well, what we should have done better, and what has to be done.”

During the first day, Awards for the 2017 ALCUCOA Effective Partner Awards, 2017 ALCUCOA Academic Excellence Award, 2017 ALCUCOA Human Resource Development Award, and 2017 ALCUCOA Model Local Chief Executive Award were also given to the preselected awardees from the ALCUCOA member LCUs and their LGUs. Similarly, a CHED hour was conducted also during the conference to highlight the significance of CHED and LCUs partnership towards quality assurance and quality education. While LCUs are already following the basic requirements of CHED, only a small number have attained institutional recognition.

With the closing of the second day of presentations of the National Conference, the ALCUCOA GENERAL ASSEMBLY was conducted with a quorum of members present and the minutes were approved as presented in the 10th National Conference Souvenir Program. Dr. RAYMUNDO P. ARCEGA presented the President’s Report/ Accomplishments (as stated in the 10th ALCUCOA National Conference Souvenir Program). Thereafter, the Treasurer’s Report was presented to, and approved by the body. The body also discussed and approved the agenda under the “New Business” which included the following: proposed 2018 Operating Budget, Proposed 2018 ALCUCOA Institutional Capability Training, Proposed ALCUCOA Manual of Operations, Proposed provision for the Criteria for Accreditation on the following areas: Gender and Development, Person with Disability, and Disaster Preparedness. Also discussed briefly in the assembly was the ALCUCOA Research Conference, the proposed digitalization of the Accreditation Instrument, and the designation of Cluster Heads per Region. Finally, capping the event was the announcement of the results of the elections which brought forth the re-election of the UNIVERSITY OF MAKATI, the CITY COLLEGE OF CALAPAN, and GORDON COLLEGE. (Adamos)