The unprecedented challenges in the academe posed by the new normal has caused major shifts in the Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs) scholastic operations. The students, among its stakeholders, are the ones who are downright affected in this entire transfiguration as institutions embrace the new normal.
To respond to this situation, the Philippine Association of Practitioners of Student Affairs and Services (PAPSAS), Inc. conducted a research conference intended to all student affairs services (SAS) practitioners in the country with the theme, “Models of Practices and Innovations in Student Affairs Services” last May 21-22, 2021 through Zoom teleconferencing. The goal was to prepare SAS practitioners in meeting expectations of a new generation of students and to empower and equip them with evidence-based and research-based solutions to support the diverse needs of learners in the New Normal.
Seeing the relevance of the convention to the current needs of CPSU in providing student services and in responding to matters related to student affairs for benchmarking purposes, a total of 15 OSSA practitioners coming from the main and satellite campuses were endorsed to participate in the said event.
CPSU participants were the OSSA dean Dr. Pilipinas Ma. Jareño, the coordinator of the Counseling and Guidance Services Mr. Micheal Brian Arcedas, the adviser of the Student Publication Dr. Josephine Asuncion Emoy, the SSG Federated representative Hon. Carlo Boyayot, the adviser of the United Fraternity-Sorority Organizations Mr. Emmanuel Onofre, the director for Cultural and Sports Development Mrs. Rachel Robles, and the OSSA coordinators in various campuses; Mr. Abundo Simias (Moises Padilla campus), Mr. Ronnie Bautista (Sipalay Campus), Mrs. Daryl Faith Bacolod (San Carlos campus), Mary Ann Garaygay (Ilog Campus), Mrs. Jol Gumawa (Victorias Campus), Mrs. Charrymie Nervar (Cauayan Campus), Mrs. Evelyn Paguntalan (Candoni Campus), Sir Paul Drake Pelagio (Hinigaran Campus), and Mr. Luland Rote (Hinobaan Campus).
The conference served as an avenue in highlighting innovative initiatives and practices of various education institutions in implementing student programs and services to address the demands in education in the current set-up.
In the keynote speech of Dr. Roger Ludeman, the President Emeritus of the International Association of Student Affairs and Services, as well as Editor-in Chief of the IASAS-DSW Book - SAS Higher Education: Global Foundations, Issues and Best Practices, 3rd Edition, he stated that the purpose of SAS was to provide high quality programs and services to students, and that practitioners should be good stewards in attaining this purpose.
In the entirety of his talk, he emphasized on the significance of Student Affairs assessment in order to identify current scenarios, demands and effective actions and strategies for the students’ welfare.
“It justifies what we do; it justifies what we want to implement. Assessment serves three major roles - to support and enhance student learning; to foster accountability, since we answer to our stakeholders; and for accreditation and evaluation purposes since we aim for higher goals,” Dr. Ludeman explained.
During the parallel session, there were a total of 22 paper presenters, with each focusing on studies within the identified research streams: (a) innovative programs for student development and wellness, (b) models and strategies for student discipline and formation, (c) impact and development of community engagement, (d) inclusive education an student affairs and services, and (e) SAS response to the challenges in the new normal.
On the second day, Dr. Evelyn Songco, the Chair of the PAPSAS, Inc. Research Committee and a professorial lecturer of the Graduate School of the University of Santo Tomas, and Dr. Carlito Olaer, member of the PAPSAS, Inc. Research Committee and a faculty of the Centro Escolar University, shared their featured presentations of PAPSAS researches.
Indeed, the entire event served as a motivation and a venue for learning to all SAS practitioners to engage in research so as to further elevate the quality of student services and programs being extended to the main clienteles.
By: J.A. Emoy