The onset of COVID-19 and the ensuing pivot to remote instruction highlighted the preparedness, nimbleness, and flexibility of student support services, such as advising, tutoring, mental health support, and the overall infrastructure and readiness of an institution to work with students in a completely virtual environment. In 2020, The International Association of Student Affairs and Services (IASAS) noted the importance of addressing the basic personal needs of students through a comprehensive set of out-of-the-classroom student services. These services are designed to “enable and empower students to focus more intensely on their studies and personal growth, both cognitively and emotionally. In response, the University has created a unique system in response to the “new normal” in education and to ensure the safety not only of the students but every stakeholder of the institution.
Student support and services contribute to the quality of their learning experience and their academic success. Studies show that the most important factors in education quality assurance are: quality of teaching / learning and service systems and support for students. The importance of support activities for the students is obvious but also presents the management of services with difficulties due to the increasing number of students and their needs. They also face a variety of nonacademic barriers to persistence. Many are older and are likely to have a family to support; most are juggling competing priorities that can disrupt them from achieving their education and career goals. Because of this, the university is committed in improving the quality and availability of student supports.
The university provides a wide range of support to students. Academic Services, to get students ready to navigate college processes. Financial Services, to acquaint students with financial aid opportunities and assist them with applications. Personal Services, providing community referrals to address health and family issues. Career Exploration Services, using partnerships with local community partners around resume writing, mock interviews, and job exploration through electronic media. These services are maintained to be perpetuated so it can benefit a lot of our students.
Aside from offering student services mentioned above, the university offers tutoring, career services, and the use of computer labs and libraries. The university is doing every means it can to break the barriers that prevents the students to reach their full potential.
The 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report on inclusion takes into account, “a range of elements that form educational experiences and outcomes” and examines “the role of elements of education systems that can support inclusion, including laws and policies, governance and finance, school curricula, personnel, infrastructure, and community norms, beliefs and expectations.”
Given the Pangasinan State University as diverse community, an inclusive campus climate effort helps ensure that the campus is welcoming of all persons. In fact, on May 31, 2017 the university’s Board of Regents approved its own guidelines and policies on the admission of students with special needs.
The guidelines and policies are supporting the University’s commitment to equity and diversity by providing support services and academic accommodations to students with disabilities. It includes the provision of ramps in every building. Rainbow-colored pedestrian lanes were installed to show support to the LGBT Community. Scholarships and Special Services for students with special needs were facilitated by the Office of the Student Services. The said office shares information promotes awareness of disability issues and provides support of a decentralized system of access for students within the University community.
True to its mission of producing graduates that meets the expectation of the local and international work communities, the University has been giving its full effort and support to students to help them grow and develop holistically.
The university understands the political issues and climate of the school and work to improve and extend programs and services that strengthen the educational experiences of all students. Conduct appropriate planning, design, research, and evaluation activities to ensure that all student services are maintained at an effective and relevant level. Recognize the personal, social, and emotional concerns and problems that may affect the students’ educational development. Assist students and their families in addressing the personal, social, and emotional concerns and problems that may impede their educational development. Provide training, orientation, and consultation for the educational development and needs of students. Advocate the educational needs of students and work to ensure that these needs are addressed at every level.
The university continuously improves its services to cater the needs of its students whether it be of physical, financial, social, and emotional needs providing a pathway for the students to continue dreaming and to succeed.
JANICE C. FRANCISCO