Evaluation of the College Department Implemented Programs and Services to SMCQC Partner Community: Basis for an Enhanced Community Extension Program
Keywords:Community, Social transformation, Extension, Evaluation, Empowerment, Development
Social transformation is a long-term change process in social norms, levels, and relationships of social structure (Werakoon & Murray, 2021). This process is geared towards sustainable development. Development effort for social transformation encourages people to examine their lives critically and take action to change social conditions. This social transformation aims to develop people’s capacity for social change through a collective problem-solving approach emphasizing participation, reflection, and critical analysis of social problems. It enables people to locate opportunities for strategic action in constructing the desired transformative change. Among these social transformation efforts, one organization that actively extends help through development efforts and services is the school. Several schools have developed community involvement or extension programs through community partnerships to empower people toward social transformation and community development. The purpose is to link the students, faculty, and volunteers with marginalized people. This is what St. Mary’s College, Quezon City, is doing to actively participate in the development efforts to help uplift the conditions of the people in the partner community. The mixed method of research was used, which primarily evaluates the programs and activities conducted by the students and faculty of SMCQC, and how these have impacted the community. Randomly selected beneficiaries of the programs answered a questionnaire checklist, and focus group discussions were conducted with the youth and adult sectors. Part one dealt with the demographic profile and evaluation part two dealt with learning and takeaways on Education and Training, Entrepreneurship, Environment and Cleanliness, Health and Wellness, and Spiritual Formation/Programs.
Thirty-four (34%) respondents belonged to the 43-52 age bracket. Most of them were female (84%), high school graduates (52.28%), married (73%), and Catholics (80%). The majority are earning less than the minimum wage, as most of them are vendors who do not have a stable income. Palosapis and Lawaan community members are grateful to SMCQC for the programs and activities. They participated in most of the activities and programs SMCQC volunteer students, faculty members, and alumni conducted. There had been a physical and social transformation in the community. Community members are now more aware of their responsibilities and are mindful of each other through regular monitoring of their tasks and regular meetings. In the Focus Group Discussion conducted with the youth sector, they shared the following: discovered their talents and became more confident in doing their tasks and responsibilities; learned about sustainable leadership; appreciated and lived out the values of unity, discipline, cooperation, and trust; actively participated in programs and projects of the barangay; inspired to take up BS in Social Work. In the Focus Group Discussion conducted with the adult sector, they shared the following: learned to decide as a team and consider the opinion of others; learned new skills in different livelihood projects; became aware of their responsibilities in the community and in looking after one another; appreciated and live out the values of unity, cooperation, and respect; adults became more supportive of the young; learned from the seminars/webinars, training, and other programs and services rendered by the volunteers and helped them become equipped as leaders and as community members. However, some activities have been put on hold because of the pandemic, including the Sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony; Slam Dunk Junk Legacy Project for the youth. Based on the discussions, the programs given to the community were enough to help its people become empowered. Continuing the programs and services in future community engagement would be good.
The following are suggested to be continued during the phase-out process: Entrepreneurship/ livelihood; Mental Health and Wellness Program; Environmental Program (Waste Management Program); Education Program. The results were shared with the community's key leaders, and agreed on a well-designed Community Development Program wherein resources, both human and materials, were utilized for its implementation from September 2022 to December 2023.