by Marciano A. Paroy Jr.
With the current trend of offering ladderized courses in college, the Kalinga-Apayao State College (KASC), the Kalinga Colleges of Science and Technology (KCST), the Saint Louis College of Bulanao (SLCB), and the Cordillera A+ College of Technology (CACT) have overhauled their curricular programming for the courses Bachelor of Agricultural Technology (for KASC), Bachelor of Science in Criminology (for KCST), and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (for both SLCB and CACT).
These ladderized programs have all passed through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Director Julie Banganan explains, “The TESDA Provincial Office scrutinizes the curriculum of the program being submitted for ladderization, after which we shall forward it to the regional office. The memorandum of agreement is both given a stamp of approval by TESDA and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).”
According to the Provincial Director, the four tertiary institutions mentioned above have all satisfied the requirements for their programs to get both the CHED and TESDA approval.
“This ladderized scheme is our response to the present mandate of higher education institutions to respond to the need of providing students with as many alternatives as possible when they enroll a certain course,” Dr. Joseph Aguilar, Dean for KASC’s Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, said. “I should mention that KASC is the eleventh school in the Philippines to have its ladderized BAT program approved for offering.”
The Dean explained that if a student decides to take up a certain course, – say, BSA – by the time he finishes his first year in college, he can already be given a National Certificate which would attest that he has earned one-year worth of expertise that makes him legible to land a job within his field. By the time he finishes his second year, another certificate is earned, and so on, until he finally earns the four-year degree.
Ladderization realistically accepts the fact that, in time, a college student will have the tendency to stop pursuing the degree originally enrolled. The certificates strewn along the academic ladders would then provide the inevitable dropouts with opportunities to land jobs even without completing the degree.
Simply put, a student does not have to finish the course to find a job.
“That’s viewing it off-target,” Ms. Cleofalyn Gayaman, a KCST instructor countered. “A ladderized curriculum simply opens other doors for a student who may eventually decide not to pursue the complete degree due to various reasons, like financial constraints.”
The KCST program on Criminology indeed gives Certificate of Security Services (NC-1) to a student who has completed his BSCrim first-year (and NC-2 for a student who has completed his second year) so that he can already opt to apply for a job in security services that minimally require only the level he has attained.
As for Information Technology, both the BSIT courses offered by SLCB and CA+CT follow a ladderized curriculum. The competencies earned during the lower years, according to Director Banganan, would be of great help to the students who may be gainfully employed already as computer programmers, both here and abroad.
“As of now, we are still offering BSIT as an independent course,” Jefferson Tagtag, KCST instructor, commented. “although Director Banganan has been urging us to have our BSIT curriculum ladderized as well.”