THE FACULTY of Arts and Letters (Artlets) and the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management remained the highest producers of honor students in the University, even as other colleges have lowered the number of honor graduates as a percentage of the total.
The Faculty of Civil Law produced just one cum laude, which the dean said was due to the difficulty of the course.
In Artlets, a slight increase in honor graduates was attributed by its dean to “good students” lured by the faculty. Artlets saw a rise in the number of honor graduates this school year, and was still the top producer of cum laudes for the third consecutive year, data from the registrar’s office showed.
While official figures showed a stable trend for the entire University – with only one in 10 students graduating with medals overall for the past several years — Artlets had 17 percent of its batch 2010 honored, a slight increase from 16.10 percent last school year, and 16 percent in 2008.
Artlets, and another consistent top-placer in giving honors, Tourism of Hospitality Management had one honor student out of every six graduates.
Artlets produced 105 honors, nine of whom were magna cum laudes, out of a total of 617 graduates.
Artlets Dean Michael Anthony Vasco said the figures only showed that the faculty has the “best students in the University.”
“The [entrance exam] cut off [of the faculty] is above the minimum cut off scores of the University so chances are we (Artlets) are attracting the best students in the University.” Vasco said.
He added however that Artlets should guard against giving too much honors because “17 percent is high.”
Tourism, which has a greater proportion due to the lower number of graduates—387 students— followed with 17.31 percent. A total of 67 students finished college as cum laudes or magna cum laudes..
The College of Architecture joined the top three top cum laude producers this year, giving recognition to 50 honor students out of 314 graduates. Architecture had a 10 percentage point jump from last year’s ratio of six percent.
“The college lauds the team work of the faculty and the administration,” said Architecture Secretary Warren Maneja.
The College of Education landed fourth while maintaining a total of 28 honor graduates from last year. But the ratio of honor students to the total number of graduates increased to 14 percent from 11 percent as the number of new Education degree holders dropped.
The College of Fine Arts and Design had a total of 50 honor students out of 446 graduates, translating to an 11.21 percent ratio. Last year, the college had 68 honors and a 12.59 percent ratio.
The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, which has been stable in giving honors at around 15 percent of the graduating batch for the past six years, dropped to 10.20 percent last school year, producing 10 honor graduates out of 392.
In terms of percentage, the Conservatory of Music actually had the highest with 25 percent of graduates given honors. But it only had 40 graduates, out of which 10 were given honors. There were only three honor graduates from the conservatory last year.
The Faculty of Pharmacy, last year’s fourth placer in having the most number of honor students, experienced a big drop this school year, with only 61 of its 661 graduates given honors. The ratio went down to nine percent from 12 percent.
The same rate was reached by Pharmacy in 2008, while in 2007, 13 percent of graduates had medals.
A different story happened at the College of Commerce and Business Administration.
Commerce, dubbed by its dean Helena Ma. Cabrera, as an “earning college,” nearly doubled the ratio of honor students to total graduates to 5.88 percent, from just three percent last year.
Commerce saw a decrease in the number of graduates to 697 from 811.
The College of Nursing, on the other hand, cut its ratio from a stable 13 percent for the past five years to 5.80 percent this school year. Only 27 of the 466 graduates had honors.
The College of Science also recorded a drop in its honor roll ratio to 8.38 percent from 10.82 percent in 2009.
Civil Law had only one honor student, Ian Jerny de Leon, who graduated cum laude among 81 other graduates.
Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina attributed this to the difficulty of the course.
“Here in Civil Law it is difficult to get a grade of 1.80 unlike in undergraduate courses.” Divina said.
Civil Law Student Council president Randolph Clet agreed, saying a lone cum laude in the faculty did not mean that Civil Law has bad students.
“In Civil Law, you can be a dean’s lister, but on a seasonal basis like you’re a dean’s lister this semester, but next semester, you are not,” Clet said.
He noted that Civil Law has been “marketing” itself by offering scholarships to honor students from UST and other universities.
Divina, who took helm as law dean this year, said improvements in the curriculum are underway.
“Starting this year, we will hold a mock bar examination. Mock bar exams will imitate real bar exams,” he said. “With this, they (students) will be familiar with how the actual test is given and taken.”
Still, graduating cum laude in Law “still makes a difference,” Clet said.
The number of graduates this academic year totalled 5,581, out of which 564, or a tenth, graduated with honors. The data excluded the Ecclesiastical Faculties, Graduate School and the AMV-College of Accountancy, which will hold its graduation rites in June. Ian Carlo B. Antonio and Monica N. Ladisla
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