SIMBAHAYAN holds a workshop-training in City College of San Fernando, Pampanga

UST Simbahayan Community Development Office (SIMBAHAYAN) Director Asst. Prof. Froilan A. Alipao, MCD together with Program Development Officer Ms. Veronica Michelle L. Moreno and BA Sociology student Ms. Ioni A. Kho conducted a two-day workshop-training on community engagement and organizing in the City College of San Fernando Pampanga (CCSFP). The hybrid training was held from March 27-28, 2023 via Zoom.

Inspired by the handbook, Journeying with Communities: A Community Engagement and Organizing Handbook for University Extension Workers a handbook published by the UST Graduate School Center for Continuing Professional Education and Development, SIMBAHAYAN, and the Commission on Higher Education; the CCSFP President, Atty. Gloria J. Victoria-Bañas, CPA, DPA, CESO V extended her invitation to the team. Through this initiative, the Local University and College (LUC) hoped to be enlightened with the processes they need to undertake in achieving meaningful linkages with the various
sectors of their local government unit through their Research and Extension Services.

On the first day, Atty. Victoria-Bañas warmly welcomed everyone and highlighted the importance of listening to the voices of the people. This was immediately followed by the discussion of Community Engagement and Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) facilitated by Asst. Prof. Alipao. He emphasized the difference between extension services with community engagement in which the former present communities as helpless and in need of external assistance which puts the more knowledgeable in power while the latter believes that people’s empowerment, participation, and collective action are crucial when it comes to positive social change. Another point discussed was the Quadrants of Community Engagement by HEIs. These were Quadrant I: Research Partnerships, Quadrant II: Civic Engagement, Quadrant III: Continuing Education and Consultancy, and Quadrant IV: Civic Scholarships. The day ended with a workshop on Qualitative Self-Assessment Rubric for Institutionalizing Community Engagement in Higher Education developed by Andrew Furco. Participants were given time to assess their institution in terms of philosophy and mission of community-engagement, faculty support and involvement in community engagement, student support and involvement in community engagement, community participation and partnership, and institutional support for community engagement.

On the second day, Moreno explained Community Organizing specifically its definitions, interrelationship with community development, the seven principles, and eight basic steps of community organizing. Alipao also challenged the participants to formulate a community organizational plan based on three scenarios: (1) a partnership with a basic educational institution, (2) a partnership with a faith-based organization, and (3) a new partnership.

The two-day event concluded with a message of appreciation and insights from CCSFP’s Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Melanie V. Briones and the Research and Extension Director Dr. Melanie Junio. Alipao also shared his hopes that through this workshop-training, the CCSFP will continue to strengthen the institutionalization of their community engagement.

The workshop-training was actively participated by 32 participants composed of administrators and faculty members.

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