“We go for change.” Such is the dictum that the College of Criminology has lived by through the years of its inception as one of the prolific and upbeat academic units at Foundation University.
It basks in the glory that it has given to the university recently as the number 1 top performing school in Region 7 for first takers of the licensure examination for criminologists under Category C or those with 15 up to 49 examinees. Foundation University posted a passing percentage for its first takers at 71.43 percent with 14 takers.
As Francis Jade Marimat, officer-in-charge of the College of Criminology, intones: “Today, there is a public stigma among graduates of Criminology as well as Criminology schools as we grapple with the burden of taking the cudgels for the negative publicity being reported about because of alleged violations of the law among uniformed personnel.”
According to Marimat, it is essential that the public should know that such untoward and unbecoming behavior, including anomalous deeds, are not exclusive to graduates of Criminology. “For one, Criminology graduates undergo academic discussions, trainings, and orientation on human behavior, professional conduct, and ethical standards as we instill discipline and expectations among aspiring law enforcers,” she elaborated, adding that it would be well to know the causes that triggered such action and to address the problems immediately.
Confessing that the pressure to give their best is more among the faculty and staff, Marimat qualifies that “it is because Criminology is a board course.” The College is mandated to abide by the provisions of Republic Act No. 11131 effective 2022 that states that for graduates to become registered criminologists, they need to reach an average of 75 percent. Moreover, in case of failure, the cadets – as how these students and graduates are referred to – have two chances to retake the licensure exam, otherwise they enroll anew in a refresher course.
A stellar year for the College was in 2021 when it produced a top 10 in the regional licensure examination in the person of Carly Caldera, who is currently processing his application papers to join a law enforcement agency.
The University is an institutional member of the Professional Criminologists Association of the Philippines (PCAP), Inc. Last April, the College sent a delegation to the Second Regional Criminology Students Congress at the University of Cebu Main Campus, Cebu City.
Marimat shared that the College uses diversified approaches in the teaching-learning experience of the cadets, like outcomes-based education and self-paced learning. On their fourth year, the cadets also do hands-on experience in the University’s crime laboratory and fingerprint laboratory room, aside from assembling and disassembling guns and similar weapons.
The “heart” of the College is the Criminology Aptitude Training Unit (CATU) where the hub of trainings and activities are. Although, according to Marimat, the emphasis of the course is on the physical (brawn) as well as the analytical skills, it is also helpful that a Criminology graduate is well-rounded. Thus, the College through the CATU has sub-units where all cadets can choose where they may want to be members of. These are in the areas of first aid, mental health, talents, and digital media.
In the works is the formation of a Criminology alumni chapter soon. “Our alumni have seen the College growing and they want to be more visible and to check where they can be of help,” remarked Marimat.
Certainly, Marimat says they will not allow themselves to be affected by some negativities shrouding some law enforcement agencies. “If our cadets and graduates want to see change, they are the change,” Marimat concludes. (Dr. Cecile M. Genove)