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Guidance is a service within the educational program of the school which aims to help the students adjust to their school environment, secure happier interpersonal relations, assess their own capacities and limitations in the fields they have chosen and accept responsibility for their own actions.
Guidance as a service is an integral part of modern education. It is a group of integrated, correlated and coordinated guidance activities that are used to assist the individual to meet his problems and to be increasingly self-directive in making and carrying out essential choices, plans and adjustments in life.
Such services include
This is considered to be the very heart and the very core of the guidance services. It seeks to assist students in learning how to focus on certain concerns and address them positively and finally come up with their own resolutions. It aims to help students achieve optimum growth and development as a person capable of self-direction, sound decision and self-understanding.
Adjustment issues, crisis intervention, family difficulties and all the issues of being a teenager are discussed with the counselor. Students are urged to bring questions, problems and concerns to the counselor. These might include adjusting to college life, academic pressures and life direction. They may also include problems with depression, low self-esteem, anxieties and fears, eating and body image, relationships or friendships, guilt or anger, family problems or dealing with parents, life traumas, or difficulties from their past.
In realizing this guidance service, the following are the activities being undertaken by the department:
This program is one of the flagships of the Center for Guidance Services. In this program, all 1st to 3rd year students, of any course, of any nationality, are required to have a one-on-one counseling with the guidance counselors. This effectively identifies the students’ needs especially in terms of their academic difficulties on their first two years with the institution. Personal issues are also related depending on the readiness of the student to divulge whatever concern that he has. This program also serves as an avenue for the new students to express whatever problem that is hindering them from achieving their full potentials academically. Through a simple and casual chat with them, students comfortably share whatever concerns that bother them as they continue their journey in the university.
Career decision-making is a process that involves time, self-study, and planning. Too often, it is assumed that a decision regarding a career can be made quickly or on the basis of some test. Instead, students need to develop their ability to make good decisions, clarify their understanding of themselves, and enrich their knowledge of work possibilities in the world. This is when career counseling comes in, at the time that a student needs to decide on something that he is about to embark on like entering the world of work. It is provided to further help the students in assessing and evaluating their short and long-term goals.
The office daily accommodate students with pressing problems related to their academics. Important matters are discussed inside the counseling cubicles and immediate actions are then taken by the counselor to address the problem. Coordination with the administration, academic heads, faculty members are being done to best assist these students who are in great need of academic support and consideration. On the other hand, teachers are also tasked to refer students with observed academic difficulties. It is always ensured that through academic counseling, severe problems are prevented.
This program is in direct coordination with the Student Discipline Office. Student-offenders after being penalized by the discipline officers are being referred to the guidance office for behavioral modification counseling. Here, students are provided with counseling and other activities like journal-making in which they will be asked to relate what insights they got from committing the offense and at the same time, serving the penalty given. Their self-reflections will be discussed in the counseling session. Almost always, the session proves to be a self-realization period for the student-offenders. This program is indeed a helpful and effective intervention for positively modifying students’ behavior.
On-line counseling is also provided for those students who prefer anonymity in their personal concerns. All students are well-informed about this particular service and daily, the office receives a number of e-mailed concerns not only coming from the students but as well as from the parents from the local and foreign areas. This further enhances the line of communication between the counselors and the parents and the students. With the onset of the latest trends in technology, the guidance office also tries to go with these trends to better serve the students and to ensure that all means and ways are explored just to reach out to all students as well as to the parents.
Telephone counseling is a type of psychological first aid provided by the guidance office where a student communicates with the counselor via the telephone. This type of counseling often act as a crisis hotline.Telephone counseling is conducted independently. Many callers seeking telephone counseling do not have an active relationship with a counselor and use telephone counseling as a substitute for intervention.
This is also known as the FGD, which is a form of counseling given in groups. This is a program that aims to extend counseling to a bigger no. of students. Groups of students according to programs are encouraged to attend sessions with the counselors that focus primarily on the identified needs of the college. Here, students are asked to share their insights and ideas about some issues and concerns that are considered to be relevant to the particular college.
It is designed to recognize the individuality of a student while simultaneously acknowledging and honoring his deep cultural values. Problems with adaptation, academic inadequacies, interpersonal relations, separation anxieties are the common issues being referred to the office. This is facilitated by multicultural competent guidance counselors who continuously strive for learning. Almost always, the foreign students themselves seek the counselors’ assistance either on a walk-in basis or in appointment basis.
The information service is one of the most-sought services of the university. Students are very much aware that if they need some pertinent information about anything related to their stay in the institution, the Guidance Office is always available for them. This aids the students to acquire useful information, be it educational, vocational and socio-psychological in nature.
In realizing this guidance service, the following are the activities being undertaken by the department:
These programs are regularly held every start of the semester. New students which include transferees are encouraged if not required to attend the assembly for them to be oriented about the school’s policies, rules and regulations, facilities and services. The key personnel of the university always see to it that they participate in this welcome activity for the new students. These programs are considered to be one of the major highlights of the university’s program of activities.
These activities aim to enhance some of the most important areas of development of any student. Seminars that are academic and behavioral in nature are usually designed to achieve the student’s holistic development. Seminars on psycho-spiritual upliftment, personality and leadership skills are the usual themes carefully planned by the department.
Bulletin boards are strategically located in all the buildings of the university. These contain different kinds of information that must be made known to the students. Latest university updates, job postings or employment opportunities, self-help postings like topics on study habits, time management, preparation for taking the examinations, research findings are only a few of these relevant information.
New students are asked to fill-up the student’s cumulative record during his first year of entry in the university. The data gathered from these records are collated and used for future references. Personal information, family background and educational background are given emphasis. Other relevant information like interests, hobbies, talents and skills are also asked from these students.
RESEARCH AND EVALUATION SERVICES
Research and evaluation serve as important tools for the administration in adapting, modifying or formulating school policies in the light of research findings. A common procedure for evaluating the effectiveness of instructors is the use of student ratings obtained from a kind of scale. While there are other methods that the school employs in determining instructor’s effectiveness, student-assigned ratings is still the most reliable since students are thought to be in the best position to judge an instructor’s effectiveness since it is with the student that an instructor always has direct contact inside the four corners of the classroom.
In Our Lady of Fatima University, the students’ evaluation of faculty is also considered to be a very strong and very important tool in assessing the level of excellence that every teacher exerts as he delivers his lessons. This assessment procedure is actually being spearheaded by the Human Resources Department through the help of the Center for Guidance Services. The evaluation is regularly conducted every semester to better ensure improvement of teaching performance every semester.
Through the students’ evaluation, excellence in teaching performance is continuously being achieved.
Another assessment procedure being done by the students is the evaluation of student personnel services. Creating an environment conducive to learning is one of the major goals of such assessment. Students are asked to evaluate the services being provided by the following department: Library, Student Accounting, Registrar’s Office, Health Clinics, Canteen, Guidance, Security and others.
These services are being evaluated every semester and results of these are always being referred to the administration as well as to the department heads. From the results, continuous improvements are done to provide excellent service to all clients.
Referral System provides teachers an opportunity to find partners through the guidance counselors in managing not only difficult students but even highly intellectual ones. Through this, the counselors assume the responsibility of improving the adjustment of students through an extensive Monitoring Program.
Twice every month, the teachers submit attendance referrals to the guidance office. In return, the guidance counselors would take appropriate actions like calling, texting and mailing parents informing them about the current status of their child. This has been the most appreciated service being provided by the guidance office. Parents are very vocal about their gratitude to the utmost and genuine concern of the institution to help their children get through in their college life. All possible ways to reach out to them are being done by the department.
THE TESTING AND MEASUREMENT SERVICE
One of the ways leading to a kind of understanding of individual abilities needed for guidance purposes is through data gathers from psychological tests. The main function of standardized psychological test is to generate hypothesis through the actual behavior of the individual. However, testing is not the end goal in guidance. Tests are but one of the many instruments used for personal assessment undertaken in order to assist the individual achieve better self-understanding which may be utilized in decision-making and attaining self-integration.
SPECIAL GUIDANCE SERVICES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
In its efforts to remove all the barriers that separate the Filipino from International students and to equally provide services to all students regardless of whatever nationality they have, the Center for Guidance Sevices have designed special programs that would best fit the needs of these foreign students. Along with the International Students’ Office, the GuidanceCenter provides programs that are essential in their continuous stay in the institution. Various forms of services are given to help them cope up with the changes in their cultural environment. This mission is accomplished through building partnerships with administrators, students, faculty members, and the community, in general.
In realizing the program’s goals, the following are the activities being undertaken by the department:
It is designed to help students whose native culture is not that of the Philippines. Through the program, they would be educated about the important things that they need to be oriented with like Philippine values, attitudes, beliefs and even the country’s related policies and rules and regulations. This would help them adjust their own attitudes and actions to the new environment they are into right now. The University’s own policies will also be given emphasis so they can better adapt themselves to the university’s own culture.. Aside from that, it is hoped that through the program, they would appreciate more the academic institution that they have chosen.
This is a system involving the student and the teacher. Teachers refer foreign students whom they have observed to have adaptation difficulties or having poor academic performance. Appropriate actions are then undertaken by referring the student to appropriate authorities like to the academic heads if the problem is academic in nature.