Upholding top-notch management system, once again, the Pangasinan State University has undergone ISO 2015 surveillance audit. For the two consecutive years, PSU – Alaminos City Campus was one among the selected campuses evaluated together with PSU – Main and four other campuses. The surveillance audit on Quality Management System (QMS) was conducted by SOCOTEC Certification International via zoom last April 15 – 16, 2021.

During the first day, the context of the organization was audited where the University President, Dr. Dexter R. Buted, all Vice Presidents (VPs) of the University, and the Campus Executive Directors (CEDs) of the selected campuses were the auditees. After the audit on the organizational context, PSU Sta. Maria, Infanta, and Binmaley were simultaneously audited.

On the second day, PSU-ACC has undergone the QMS audit focusing on a selected program and student services wherein, the Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English and the Guidance Services were audited.

As preliminary audit, SOCOTEC Auditor, Dr. Ringo Pabua checked with Dr. Christopher J. Cocal in his capacity as OIC-Campus Executive Director on the management of the campus, and compliance with the requirements set forth by regulatory bodies such as the Commission on Higher Education. Observance of the internal policies and processes were also checked.

Dr. Cocal was requested by Dr. Pabua to give brief introduction about the campus including human and physical resources. Dr. Cocal informed Dr. Pabua that PSU – ACC has 63 teaching and non-teaching employees. With regards to physical plant, specifically infrastructure, Dr. Docal reported that the campus has three academic buildings, and a student center. Currently, the New Building is under construction.

For the sample program, the Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSE) program under College of Teacher Education (CTE) lead by College Dean, Dr. Christopher J. Cocal was sampled. Dr. Pabua checked the current programs offered and the future programs to be offered. Currently, the BSE program offers BSE-English and BSE-Mathematics. CTE looks forward to expanding its BSE program by adding BSE-Filipino to its program offerings. Checking on the compliance of the program under audit on CHED Memorandum Orders (CMOs), particularly on CMO 75, series of 2017, the status of the COPC was checked by Dr. Pabua. Dr. Cocal said that PSU – ACC is on the process of complying the COPC requirements and PSU is given until November of this year to comply as contained in Article VIII, Section 24 of CMO 75, series of 2017.

Dr. Pabua also asked about the teaching – learning modalities used by PSU in response to the pandemic. Dr. Cocal said that PSU – ACC is using synchronous and asynchronous teaching – learning modality with MS Teams as the platform. In connection, Dr. Pabua asked if a survey was made to assess the preferred learning modality of the students. Dr. Cocal said that a University-wide survey was conducted and it was found that a larger percentage of the students wanted the blended learning modality (online and asynchronous). Dr. Pabua asked if there is a specific data for PSU – Alaminos or the students of PSU – ACC have participated in the survey. Dr. Cocal answered that sample students from the different campuses have participated including those from the campus. Dr. Pabua asked for the problems encountered using online modality and Dr. Cocal said that internet connectivity is the most serious problem encountered by the faculty members and the students especially those from the barangays. In response, PSU – ACC has sought the assistance of the different LGUs such as Alaminos, Anda, Bani, Bolinao, and Mabini for the IT Konek project. The LGUs have provided space with internet connection and computers where the students can join online classes.

As part of the audit of the sampled program, an online class observation was also made by Dr. Pabua on randomly sampled CTE BSE-English Faculty, Dr. May Castillo. Dr. Pabua observed how Dr. Castillo manages her English 103 class using MS teams during her synchronous/online session with her students. Dr. Pabua observed that there is indeed a problem in terms of internet connectivity as Dr. Castillo’s students were cut off during the online session due to unstable internet connection. Even Dr. Castillo got cut off several times from the Zoom breakout room joined by Dr. Pabua, the campus officials, and the faculty and staff of the campus due to the said problem. The problem being potent, Dr. Pabua decided to stop the online class observation and proceeded to ask Dr. Cocal about the risk and opportunities that the campus is facing. Dr. Cocal said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the employees of the Campus are always at the risk of contracting the virus, but with the employees strictly following the health protocols provided by the authorities, they hope to at least lessen said risk. Dr. Cocal further explained that faculty members without designation are also assigned a work from home (WFH) scheme consisting of 2-days WFH schedule and 3 days onsite-schedule to regulate the number of people in the campus.

Afterwards, Dr. Pabua declared a one-hour lunch break. Subsequently, Dr. Pabua proceeded with checking with Dr. Castillo the assessment process that she employs in her online classroom. This includes the: assessment strategies which should be outcomes-based; sample rubrics which must be uploaded in the M.S. teams in question; and a presentation of the sample graded assignments/quizzes/activities.

For the student service, the Admission, Guidance, and Testing Office headed by Mr. Brandy N. Celino underwent the audit process. Dr. Pabua checked the delivery of guidance services as well as the adjustments made in relation to the pandemic. Mr. Celino proceeded with explaining that due to the pandemic, guidance services had to be delivered online through the social networking site Facebook by creating the PSU-ACC mental health support FB page. Mr. Celino further discussed that students seeking guidance services can message the said page wherein a chatbot serves as an automatic communicator depending on the purpose of the students in seeking such service. Mr. Celino added that the chatbot lets the students know that by availing the said service of the office, they are giving their consent to allow such office use their information solely for the purpose of providing mental health support services. The Guidance services through the chatbot also provides assurance to the students seeking guidance services that pertinent information such as their full name, age, contact number, email, preferred mode of contact and consultation time, immediate concern, and specific purpose for seeking guidance services that they have given will be dealt with strict confidentiality. Being exclusively available only at the PSU-ACC, Mr. Celino considers the PSU-ACC mental health support FB page as the best practice of his office when asked by Dr. Pabua.

Sample counseling cases from the previous year up to the present and the nature of the presented problems were also asked by Dr. Pabua wherein Mr. Celino made sure that gist of each case was cautiously presented to protect the confidentiality of such cases. Job fair and job placement seminar were also audited. Dr. Pabua also checked the digitized copies of the Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSS) conducted, logbooks for the services rendered as well as the recent transactions on the releasing of Certificates of Good Moral Conduct (CGMC). Likewise, the monitoring sheets were checked.

At the end of the program a closing meeting was attended via zoom breakout room by the University President, all VPs, CEDs of the sites to be audited, and all process owners identified in the audit plan. The result of the audit can be summarized as follows: no non-conformity has been found across the different campuses and units that were sampled, however opportunity for improvement has been suggested particularly in closely checking the alignment of grade distribution in the course syllabi. Due to the successful audit, PSU will be recommended immediately for ISO Certification. The audit was successful due to the support and cooperation extended by the faculty and staff of PSU–ACC as well as their passion and commitment to attain the vision and mission of the University. PSU-ACC with its burning passion to maintain quality, is committed to achieve and be one of the best higher education institutions in the Philippines