With the theme “We Serve as One”, the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) celebrated its 103rd Founding Anniversary last February 1, 2020 at the Philippine International Church (PIC).
This year’s foundation celebration theme got its inspiration from the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games (2019 SEA Games), “We Win as One”. Throughout the years, AUP has dedicated in serving the students, and neighboring communities. Adhering to its philosophy in providing holistic education, never did AUP know that it would as well uphold this year’s founding anniversary theme, which is serving as one.
Last January 12, 2020, Taal Volcano erupted which blanketed Batangas City and the neighboring towns including AUP campus with thick sulfuric-ashes. Within days of continued eruption, the once ever-green campus of AUP looked like a monochrome photo from the early 90’s. Immediately, the faculty and staff worked as one in cleaning the campus. For the next few days, with a united effort, AUP was back to its operations. This paved the way for the university in practicing its forte—serving others as one.
Extending AUP’s service in the affected communities, on January 23-25, 2020, the volunteer students, faculty and staff, with the University Advancement Office, Philippine International Church-Adventist Community Services (PIC-ACS), and the Central Student Council were able to gather relief goods such as water containers with clean drinking water (a total of 25 gallons), pails, dippers, soap bars, underwear, toothpaste, shampoo, sanitary napkins, ethyl alcohol, face towels, and blankets. These relief goods were given to nine evacuation centers, namely the Tejero Evacuation Center, Navarro Evacuation Center, both in Gen. Trias, Cavite, Barangay Puting Kahoy, Sitio Muzon, Barangay Lumil, Barangay Pasong Langka, Pooc 1, Barangay Inchican and Barangay Tartaria. The relief goods were given to a total of 344 families. In addition, there were other services and ministry rendered to the victims like the psychological first aid which reached 245 individuals, medical outreach to 134 individuals and free haircut for five children.
There were also support coming from generous members of Edmonton SDA church (Pathfinder Club) in the USA and Canada. Also, the Korean community donated 20 sets of goods for 20 families, and 5,000 pesos worth of learning materials. There were also assorted stuffs given by some members of PIC. Due to the Taal Volcanic eruption, a few of the scheduled programs for the founding anniversary celebration were canceled, but the natural calamity did not stop AUP family from paying it forward to others.
Towards the weekend, the AUP community continued its founding anniversary celebration through the consecration service on January 31 at the PIC. Alumni came to join the program, three of which gave inspiring testimonies of how God has transformed their lives while staying at AUP. Mr. Prom and Mrs. Norma Amoguis also graced the event. They were recipients of Service award for their dedication in serving AUP especially the working students financially including their foods and school supplies.
On Saturday, the 1956 Colors Family, composed of AUP alumni, sponsored the Sabbath School worship. Pastor Romeo Mangiliman, the North Philippine Union Conference President gave the Hour of Worship message which focused on the keys of witnessing. The afternoon worship was filled with music and singing of praises as 14 different choir and musical groups rendered songs of thanksgiving during the musical concert. As AUP turns into another year of academic excellence, the institution continues to cultivate in its students a Christ-like character, and together as one, render exemplary services to others. As the CSC president said, Decxel Ragas, “The true essence of serving as one is when people come together with one purpose [in] mind, young and old, and gives in the effort it needs so that [the] goal will be accomplished.”
The Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) was once again granted autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), from June 1, 2019, up to May 31, 2021. The university enjoyed the said status since 2003.
The autonomous status is given to Higher Education Institutions which embodies a “long tradition of integrity and untarnished reputation”, “commitment to excellence”, and “sustainability and viability of operations”. The status is considered as one of the highest recognitions a college or university can receive from CHED. AUP is one among the 68 Private institutions out of 1,700+ Private Higher Education Institution (PHEIs) granted of such status. The prestigious status is given to PHEIs that have shown consistent exemplary performance in the field of education, research and extension services.
Some of the benefits of an Autonomous Status are that it allows Higher Education Institutions to open new programs in the undergraduate and/or graduate levels including doctoral programs in areas of expertise without securing a permit or recognition from CHED (except disciplines under moratorium), privilege to determine and prescribe innovative curricular programs to achieve global competence. This also gives the institutions to establish branches or satellite campuses, as well as offer extension classes and distance education courses and establish affiliations with a recognized foreign higher education institution. Educational institutions given such status have the freedom from regular monitoring and evaluation by CHED given that the school complies with the rules and regulations set. PHEIs with autonomous status also is a priority for grants, subsidies, scholarships and other financial assistance from CHED, as well as the capability to determine and prescribe curricular programs that would help students achieve global competence, wherein one of its advantages is the ability to revise and upgrade curricular offerings regularly.
The Milestones and Jump boards
A contributing factor to the granted status for the university is its accredited programs. 33 out of 35 of its programs offered are accredited by several accrediting agencies, such as: Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities-Accrediting Council, Inc. (ACSCU-ACI), The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA), and Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA).
Nine of its programs are accredited Level 4, the highest level, namely Bachelor of Arts1 (English, History, Psychology), 2BS Accountancy, 3BS Business Administration, 4Bachelor of Elementary Education, 5Bachelor of Secondary Education, 6BS Nursing, 7Bachelor of Science (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics), 8Master in Business Administration, and 9Master of Arts in Education. Eleven programs are on Level 3 namely: 1BS Nutrition and Dietetics, 2MA in Psychology, 3MS Nursing and Master in Nursing, 4PhD. in Business Administration, 5Ph.D. in Educational Administration, 6Elementary Program, 7Junior High School Program, 8BS Development Communication, 9BS Psychology, 10BS Accounting Information System, and 11PhD. in Psychology. Five programs are on Level 2: 1Doctor of Dental Medicine, 2Master in Public Health, 3Dr. Public Health major in Preventive Health Care, 4Preschool Program, and 5Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science. Eight are on Level 1: 1BS Office Administration, 2Bachelor of Library and Information Science, 3AB Theology, 4Bachelor of Tradigital Fine Arts major in Visual Communication and Design, 5Bachelor of Music in Music Education, 6BS Information Technology, 7BS Electronics Engineering/BS Electronics Technology, 8BS Information Technology.
The result of these accreditation exercises is the granting of INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies in the Philippines (FAAP).
AUP is an active partner of the local government sectors in embracing sustainable development through its services ministered to its adopted communities located in Silang, Cavite namely Brgy. Hoyo, Brgy. Tartaria, and Brgy. Bukal. Part of the services the university shares is through the Community Extension Services that cater to the need for livelihood, youth development, health, educational advancement, and social enrichment. The university is also home and initiator of the S.A.D. Free Movement which advocates for a Smoking, Alcohol, and Drug-free life for the youth. The program is supported by the Municipality of Silang, Cavite, and is celebrated annually.