April 20, 2024

The Commission on Higher Education-Cordillera has urged Benguet State University to strictly comply with the required board of regents’ approval to back up its offering of the extension classes of Criminology course at the La Trinidad campus.  

CHED Education Supervisor II Patricio Dinamling said BSU needs to work on the approval of the board of regents as soon as possible for the welfare of the students. 

Dinamling said prior to the conduct of the extension classes in La Trinidad, there should have been a BOR approval as this is the basis for the BSU’s authority to accept students to be enrolled in the criminology program.

He said only the BSU Buguias campus has the authority from the BOR to implement the Bachelor of Science in Criminology program.

At present, the extension classes for criminology are in the La Trinidad campus and in Kapangan town. The extension classes in Kapangan are temporarily being held at Governor Bado Dangwa Agro-Industrial School.   

Dinamling said the BOR approval is also the basis for the confirmation of students who are candidates for graduation of the program. Also, without the board approval, the La Trinidad and Kapangan extension classes will not be able to get the required Certificate of Program Compliance to run the program.  

The certificate of program compliance (COPC) is a recognition that a specified degree program being offered by state universities and colleges or local colleges and universities is fully compliant with the policies, standards, and guidelines of CHED.

He said CHED-CAR already sent two letters to BSU regarding its compliance for the criminology program, which is already in its second year of implementation at the La Trinidad campus.

CHED-CAR Director Demetrio Anduyan, Jr. issued a letter to BSU President Felipe Comila on Jan. 22 asking the latter to stop the enrollment and classes for the criminology program at the La Trinidad campus pending the board’s approval or resolution. 

Comila said he has already met with Anduyan during their Feb. 5 academic council meeting to discuss the matter. He said they are working on the endorsement of the academic council for the BS criminology extension in La Trinidad and in Kapangan.   

He said the academic council, which has the power to review and recommend the curricular offerings of the university, will then endorse the course offering to the BOR for their approval.

But the endorsement might not be able to make it to the upcoming board meeting for this second week of February.  He said they are looking at March to present the council’s endorsement of the program to the board of regents.

Meanwhile, Virgilio Ablaza, the designated dean for the Criminology program said there are 333 officially enrolled students for the second semester at the La Trinidad and Kapangan campuses.

He said there were originally 424 students enrolled in the first semester but the 91 students either transferred to other schools or continued to the Buguias campus. The Buguias campus has 350 enrolled students while there are seven personnel under the program. For the La Trinidad campus, there are currently four faculty members.

Ablaza said the Criminology program at the La Trinidad campus was first offered online during the pandemic, but there has been a clamor to have an extension class at the La Trinidad campus. He said these were even backed by resolutions from the barangay to municipality and parents of the students for the school to offer the program in the valley. – Ofelia C. Empian