vol # / no # / February 2007 / issn #

 Ladderized Education: Frequently Asked Questions

4. Applications for ladderization should be in the eight identified priority disciplines, namely agriculture, maritime, health, ICT, education, criminology, tourism/HRM and engineering.

5. The ladderized college degree program should have full tech-voc qualifications. These qualifications should be contained in the training regulations issued by Tesda.

6. The tech-voc qualifications in the ladderized college degree program should be registered with Tesda under the Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System (Utpras).

7. The college or university should develop and align its proposed ladderized college degree programs, according to standards set by Tesda and CHED. Your institution may opt to:
        a) adopt the model curricula approved by CHED and Tesda for ladderized programs; or
        b) develop your own ladderized curricula, provided that the standards prescribed are satisfied, i.e., training regulations and Utpras for TVET programs; and PSG for degree programs.

8. You need to submit to Tesda all the requirements for tech-voc program registration under the ladderized system. Upon approval and issuance of a certificate of program registration (CoPR), you can now proceed to CHED and submit your ladderized curriculum, together with the CoPR.

9. When all requirements are satisfied, your college or university will be granted a Certificate of Approval or Authority to Offer the Ladderized Program, and will be included in the official list of accredited institutions offering ladderized college degree programs.

What if I am an educational institution that offers purely tech-voc programs? How can I be included in the ladderized education system?

You can still be part of the ladderized education system by following these procedures:

1. You may enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with a college, university or any other college degree-granting institution authorized to offer ladderized programs, who will be your package partner in the delivery of ladderized education.

2. You should develop the proposed ladderized programs with your partner institution.

3. Then you can follow the procedures and guidelines in the application for permit/authority to operate ladderized programs.

How can the Ladderized Education Program benefit me if I cannot afford a college education?

Scholarship opportunities in tech-voc and college education are available at Tesda and CHED, local government units, private companies, foundations and others. Information about these programs can be sourced from the nearest Tesda and CHED office in your area.

Also, if you cannot afford college education, and have been unable to get any scholarship for the smaller cost of a six-month tech-voc course, you may enroll first in a tech-voc course to learn a specific occupation or trade—say, caregiving or food and beverage servicing—get a job in that In summary, you can eventually pursue and complete your college education with income from your job, and have your previously completed tech-voc courses credited for equivalent units in the college degree program you want to take.

Under ladderization, how can Tesda help me?

Tesda can help you in many ways, including:

A. Helping you acquire the skills for a job.

Tesda has a network of 121 Tesda technology institutions all over the country that provide mostly trade-based training courses. These courses are usually offered for free, or for a small fee, at the schools owned and operated by your government.

However, Tesda also provides scholarship and student assistance to those who wish to attend private institutions, through its Private Education Student Financial Assistance (Pesfa) and Technical Education and Skills Development Project-Asian Development Bank (Tesdp-ADB) programs. Poor but deserving students, who do not have the means to get an education, can avail of these financial subsidies, which are open to high school graduates who meet the following qualifications:

• must be a Filipino citizen;

• must belong to a family whose annual gross income is not more than P120,000;

• must not have taken any post-secondary or college units after high school graduation;

• must have had a general grade average in high school of 80% or above;

• must be physically and mentally fit to undergo training/education;

• must not have any pending administrative or criminal charges;

• must be of good moral character, as certified by the school principal; and

• must not be a recipient of any other government scholarship grant of similar scheme.

B. Providing you credit units earned in tech-voc courses that colleges and universities may recognize as equivalent credit units for their college degree programs.

Tesda and CHED have mapped out a system of equivalent units and credits between tech-voc courses and college degree programs in selected disciplines. Under this credit matrix, units of competencies earned in tech-voc courses are given equivalent units in a relevant, ladderized college degree program.

I am about to enter college this school year; should I enroll in the ladderized program or in the regular BS degree program?

The decision is yours, depending on your financial situation. If you have the financial means to directly pursue a four or five-year college degree program, without having to earn money throughout that period, then you can enroll in the regular BS degree program.

But if you are unsure that you have the resources, or the time, to complete a college degree program straightaway, then you should choose to go through a ladderized program.

The main advantage of ladderized education is that a national certificate affirming your tech-voc qualification can assure your job-readiness in successively higher job platforms, as you work up your way to college. And along your tech-voc way to college, if you ever decide not to continue on to finish college, you would have arrived on a job platform that can already provide you occupational work for a lifetime.

With tech-voc skills and competencies in hand, plus work experience acquired at each job platform, plus a college degree, eventually you emerge from the system a better qualified, more experienced and more competent person who is far more desirable for better jobs and careers.

Which college disciplines have been ladderized? Are all college degree programs covered? In what regions, provinces, cities and municipalities?

Initially, for SY 2006-2007, ladderized education will be implemented in the said eight disciplines which are among the most popular.

Tesda and CHED have worked together to map out competency equivalents in many of these programs to develop possible credit equivalency matrices in selected disciplines. Ladderized curricula have also been developed in some of the identified tech-voc and college degree programs.

Beginning SY 2006-2007, the Ladderized Education System under EO 358 was implemented nationwide, in institutions with authorized ladderized programs that have already been approved by Tesda and CHED in eight popular disciplines.

Will ladderized education also cover other disciplines and other college degree programs?

Definitely. We have merely started to institutionalize ladderized college degree programs in our educational system. This will be a continuing work in progress, an ongoing process of never-ending development. Lists of disciplines/college degree programs will be expanded to widen the scope and coverage of ladderized education. Tesda and CHED are working closely together with their respective institutional partners to achieve this progressively.

Where can I get more details and information about ladderized education?

All other details and information on ladderized education are available at the nearest Tesda and CHED field offices in your area.

This Q&A—reprinted from the “beginning manual” Career Guidance in Ladderized Education” (subtitled Salabat for the Filipino Soul Book 2) by Sec. Augusto Syjuco—explains why “LEP is right”

What is ladderized education?
Ladderized education is a new system of education in the Philippines that allows learners to progress between technical-vocational education and training (TVET) and college, and vice-versa.

Ladderized education opens opportunities for career and educational advancement to students and workers.

(Executive Order 358, promulgated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on September 15, 2004, provides the mandate and legal framework for wider-scale and accelerated implementation of Ladderized Education nationwide.)

Why ladderized education?

Traditionally, a college degree program is viewed as independent of tech-voc courses. Hence, when a tech-voc graduate decides to continue on to college, previous tech-voc courses that he has completed do not earn him credit units for an oncoming college degree program of his choice. Thus, the tech-voc graduate often squanders time and resources to repeat portions of his learning that should have already earned him appropriate credit unit/s for an oncoming college degree program.

Ladderized education is the answer then to this wasteful duplication. Ladderization provides the tech-voc graduate with gateways or entry points to a college degree program where he can earn appropriate, equivalent credits for previous learning acquired in tech-voc. It also allows a learner to obtain a tech-voc national certificate that will enable him to arrive at successively ascending job platforms. The money he earns from his job/s will help to finance and complete his college education.

Under the system, what are the different ways by which a student can transfer or move between tech-voc and college education?

For SY 2006-2007 the following modalities shall initially be used:

A) Credit Transfer from Tech-Voc to College and Articulation. This refers to the recognition and carrying forward of overlapping learning from tech-voc to college. A credit transfer system allows the tech-voc graduate to earn credit units for his tech-voc courses. Thus, the tech-voc graduate readily articulates to a college degree program with ease.

B) Embedded Tech-Voc Qualification in Ladderized Degree Programs (Credit Units given from College to Tech-Voc). This refers to tech-voc contents that are already included in a college degree program. Such contents are mapped out and identified, and the curriculum is restructured to allow a student of a ladderized college degree program to earn tech-voc credits and qualifications without having to repeat the same tech-voc subjects for which he has already acquired knowledge and competence.

In this way, a student of a ladderized college degree program can earn full tech-voc qualifications, and obtain national certificate/s for such qualification/s when he exits from a college degree program to proceed to a tech-voc career.

Therefore, at the time a student completes the ladderized college degree program (LCDP), he earns double qualifications: one is his college diploma, and the other his national certificate/s.

I know of ladderized programs being implemented in the past, even before E.O. 358. What is the status of these programs? Can they continue?

Yes, those ladderized programs were in existence and use even before EO 358. Those programs can continue as they are, at least until the end of SY 2006-2007, which has been set as a transition period by Tesda and CHED.

By SY 2007-2008, however, all such other ladderized programs should be aligned to conform with the framework and parameters of EO 358.

I just graduated from high school and I am interested in enrolling in a ladderized program this school year. What should I do?

For SY 2006-2007, ladderized education will be implemented in eight disciplines, namely: agriculture, education, engineering, information and communications technology, health, maritime, business tourism and criminology. You should select a course or program that is included in this initial list of eight ladderized disciplines.

If the college degree program is included in the list of ladderized programs, go to a college or university that has been authorized to offer a ladderized college degree program to apply for enrollment. You will find lists of authorized institutions that operate ladderized programs, including other information on ladderization, from Tesda and CHED regional as well as provincial offices.

What if I am a previous tech-voc graduate who intends to go back to school and enroll in a college degree program? Can I have my tech-voc course/s credited in the degree program I am enrolling in? How do I apply?

Yes, your tech-voc course/s can be credited in the college degree program you wish to enroll in.

1. If you are a tech-voc graduate or worker who already has full national certificate qualifications based on training regulations, you may apply for admission in a college or university authorized to offer the ladderized college degree program of your choice. Lists of authorized institutions may be obtained from Tesda and CHED regional and provincial offices.

2. If you are a tech-voc graduate or worker who does not hold a national certificate yet, then you need to undergo competency assessment in the relevant area of your expertise. Once you pass the assessment, and obtain a national certificate, you can apply for admission in a college or university authorized to offer the ladderized college degree program of your choice. The list of authorized institutions may be obtained from Tesda and CHED offices.

In both cases, your admission will, of course, depend on your satisfying the requirements of the college or university. Although all educational institutions fall under CHED’s ministerial coverage, they all enjoy academic freedom. Thus, ladderization under EO 358 is only voluntary on the part of each college or university and admission standards vary among them.

In the ladderized college degree program, you will be granted credit recognition that corresponds to your acquired national certificate level. However, to meet the full requirements of a particular year level, you may need to take such subjects as math, history, humanities and other major subjects that are not normally part of a tech-voc course.

Some colleges and universities will implement ladderization more extensively and more liberally than others. Therefore, it will be necessary for you to check the individual ladderization programs of a college or university.

I operate or manage a college or university that provides college degree programs, and I am interested to offer ladderized programs. How do I qualify?

As agreed by Tesda and CHED, the following guidelines should be observed by colleges and universities applying for authorization to operate ladderized programs:

1. The college or university should have existing CHED-recognized programs, in the case of private colleges and universities; or Board-approved Programs, in the case of state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local colleges and universities.

2. CHED shall evaluate the existing traditional program to determine if they are still in compliance with the policies, standards and guidelines set for the course offering. For private colleges and universities, the minimum eligibility is prior “recognition” of the traditional program. For SUCs, an equivalent authorization from the Board of Regents is required.

3. Private colleges and universities and SUCs that will offer “new” ladderized college degree programs under EO 358 will also be allowed to operate. They will have to submit their application to the CHED regional office nearest the college or university. New ladderized college degree programs are defined as those which do not have prior permit or recognition from CHED.