After establishing itself as the leading technological school in the country, Mapúa Institute of Technology has successfully achieved its global status with an international accreditation for its academic programs.
Now, Mapúa responds to the challenge of globalization for the Philippine education sector with 10 ABET-accredited programs
. Following the accreditation of its B.S. Computer Engineering, B.S. Electrical Engineering, and B.S. Electronics Engineering programs in 2010, ABET
recently granted accreditation to Mapúa’s five other engineering and two computing programs: B.S. Chemical Engineering, B.S. Civil Engineering, B.S. Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, B.S. Industrial Engineering, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, B.S. Computer Science, and B.S. Information Technology.
“It shows that we can hang on to a grand vision and at the same time slog through the quotidian,” was the reaction of Mapúa’s president and chief executive officer Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea to the school’s recent achievement. “I think that the Mapúa community can be justifiably proud of this singular achievement because it has come after years of unflagging hard work and superb teamwork. While it serves Mapúa well, it also improves the standing of Philippine engineering education before the international community of engineers and computing professionals.”
ABET is the leading accrediting body for applied science, engineering, computing, and technology programs at universities and colleges worldwide. With this, the Institute believes that the accreditation of its programs will give mobility to Filipino engineers and IT professionals to practice their profession in other countries where ABET is recognized.
“We can safely say that our engineering and computing programs are equal in standards with those offered in prominent universities in the USA,” said Engr. Conrado V. Navalta, director of Mapúa’s Continuous Quality Improvement Office.
The ABET seal of quality education means a lot for a school that seeks global status, as it entails establishment of a rigorous education system that will enable the school to produce graduates that are sure to meet international standards – the Outcomes-Based Education system (OBE).
“Mapúa is the first school in the country to adopt the OBE,” said executive vice president for Academic Affairs Dr. Bonifacio T. Doma Jr. “It basically zeroes in on outcomes.”
OBE focuses on two kinds of outcomes: the Student Outcomes and the Program Educational Objectives. Student Outcomes define the skills that students must have at the time of graduation, whereas the Program Educational Objectives pertain to what the school desires for its graduates to achieve so many years after graduation. This is followed by the assessment and evaluation process.
“For the assessment, tools are identified to determine if the outcomes are achieved and to what degree,” continued Dr. Doma. “After all data are gathered, the evaluation process ensues using performance criteria and a set of rubrics. Based on the evaluation results, recommendations for the improvement of the program are made. The continuous quality improvement (CQI) loop is closed by implementing the recommendations made. CQI is one of the major criteria in ABET accreditation.”
Commitment to excellent education
It has not been simple and easy for the Institute to have its 10 programs accredited by ABET. Mapúa’s faculty has invested countless man-hours to have its curricula brought up to a higher level. For this, the Mapúa administration commends them.
“It’s definitely a collaborative achievement because it really takes a village to achieve this feat. It is not only intensive in terms of the financial aspect but more so in terms of the number of people who must be involved and who must believe in OBE,” commented Dr. Doma.
Dr. Vea, furthermore, emphasized that the purpose behind the Institute’s shift to OBE is bigger than the ABET accreditation.
“Before we embarked on the road to ABET accreditation, we had to ask ourselves whether this was going to be a mere ‘paper chase’, and our answer was ‘No’. We were not just going for the certificate; we believed enough in the effectiveness and robustness of an outcomes-based approach to education and its accompanying Continuous Quality Improvement system that we were going to do it regardless.”
He continued: “Needless to say, our other programs are subject to the same belief and infused with the same enthusiasm for its realization. Even without a corresponding accreditation label, these programs are embodiments of the same philosophy and principles of quality education that apply to our engineering and computing programs.”
Dr. Vea assures that this is not the end of Mapúa’s journey to excellence in education.
“We are fine-tuning our CQI system especially in the area of devising effective assessment tools. We are also strengthening our links with industry to refine our statements of program educational objectives and desired student outcomes.”
This news article came out in the Special Supplement of the November 23, 2011, edition of the Philippine Star. To read the entire Special Supplement, click here.