After a two-semester hiatus due to the pandemic, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) implemented the first-ever virtual Alternative Class Program (ACP) for the college students of Ateneo de Naga University.
The latest installment of the ACP spanned six weeks, from April to May 2021, and presented 24 online events. It recorded an all-time high student attendance turnout, breaking the record of the 2019 reboot of the major student formation program.
In the old normal, ACP meant that all regular classes were cancelled for a day to allow students to attend alternative seminars or workshops of their choice. In 2019, the organizers added community exposures to the options. In the recently concluded ACP, however, students had to enter the Google Meet or Zoom rooms to watch and learn from their speakers, and interact with their fellow virtual participants. Many students took part in webinars of varied topics, such as: promotion of human rights, the concept of resiliency in disaster response, digital solutions to pandemic problems, urban gardening for food sustainability, mindfulness for stress management, narratives of trauma and moving on, and others. The others learned baking a cake, video editing, acrylic painting, and basic conversational Japanese, among the featured workshops.
The program invited experts from Bicol, seasoned speakers across the country, as well as scholars from United Kingdom and Portugal. The students still had time to interact with the speakers in the open forum, and even in the Google Classrooms before and after their respective ACP schedules.
Inspired by the theme, “Better Normal: Activate your i-MAGIS-nation,” the OSA helmed 18 of the 24 offerings, and co-organized four with the Supreme Student Government, College Campus Ministry Office, and the Ateneo Higher Education Health Services Office. The College Guidance Center organized two, including a special offering for classes of the College Ignatian Formation Program and National Service Training Program. The Office of Mission and Identity, with the assistance of the College Formation Council, guided the planning of the program, while student volunteers helped run the virtual sessions as emcees and technical staff.
The recent ACP surpassed the figures of the 2019 re-launch of the program, as 92.99 percent of the target student population (or 76.09 percent, if on-the-job trainees, interns, and practicum students are included) attended at least one online session. This figure is 5.75 percent higher than the 2019 record (or 3.11 percent, if considering the total number of college population).
There were 960 students who attended a single ACP activity, while a greater majority of 1,519 students took part in two or more offerings.
The students gave the ACP an over-all evaluation of 4.72 in a 5-point rating scale, or Excellent. This is higher than the 2019 result (4.65).
Given the continuing pandemic, the next semester’s installment of ACP shall continue to be conducted online.
Written by Rodolfo SB. Virtus
Statistics by Leo Jeremiah Arnel Caayao, and Graphic Designs by Allan Michael Balderas