Concepcion V. Pijano, the Executive Director of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) and the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), has served as President of the Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) from 2007-2010. APQN is the regional network of quality assurance agencies in the Asia-Pacific Region where PAASCU is a founding member.
Mrs. Pijano spoke to Filipino Life Magazine, about her work in the field of accreditation and quality assurance for many years and has shared her experiences and expertise with various institutions and organizations, both regional and international. She is an accreditation specialist for higher education and has served as consultant, trainor and resource person in countries such as China, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Indonesia, Yemen, Vietnam, Egypt and Ethiopia. She is considered as one of the key experts in quality assurance in the Asia-Pacific region and has worked with international organizations such as The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education and Research (NUFFIC), the German Academic Exchange Service and UNESCO – Paris in various capacity building projects within the region and beyond. She has written tools and instruments for QA processes, undertaken research and published articles in refereed journals and publications and advised governments on how to set up and sustain their internal and external quality assurance mechanism.
Mrs. Pijano says she has a very challenging job, working with schools, and helping them in their never ending quest for quality and excellence.
At present, she is a member of the Task Force of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework for Higher Education (AQAFHE) and a member of the Training Team of the ASEAN-QA Project. She is also a member of the Expert Working Group on Quality Assurance for the EU-SHARE project.
She graduated from St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree, major in English Literature and earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration at Pace University in White Plains, New York, U.S.A.
As an Executive Director of PAASCU, her task is to oversee the operations in the PAASCU Secretariat. PAASCU is a private, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that was established in 1957 to help improve the standards of education in the country. PAASCU conducts an average of 220 survey visits in a year. This means they send out volunteers with experience and expertise in various areas such as Instruction and Curriculum, Administration, Student Services, Library to evaluate schools, colleges and universities. The accreditors work pro bono.
As per the organization, PAASCU is consist of seven Commisions with five to seven members; Graduate Education, Medical Education, Engineering, Computer Science and Technology Education, Tertiary Education, Basic Education, Secondary Education, and Elementary Education. The Commission members are appointed during the General Assembly, by the board, composing of prominent educators with great experience.
The Comission is responsible for the plans and projects, formulation and revision of survey instruments, trainings of accreditors and team chairs, conducting of survey visits and consultancy, and reviews of reports of the survey teams before submission to the Board. The day to day operations, meanwhilen are handled by a Secretariat headed by the Executive Director, Mrs. Pijano. Currently, the PAASCU Secretariat is composed of 17 full-time staff, focusing on the logistics of the survey visits, invitations of accreditors, preparations of reports and forms, and implementations of projects of the various Commissions.
Being the Executive Director of the PAASCU, Mrs. Pijano says she has a very challenging job, working with schools, and helping them in their never ending quest for quality and excellence.