Thursday, April 18, 2024

Students face enrollment problems, lack admission reqs

By Jan Andrei Elizalde | January 31, 2024

Continuing students were “blocked” from enrolling due to missing admission requirements during the Silliman University (SU) second-semester enrollment that started on Jan. 15.  

According to Dr. Giovanni Macahig, SU Registrar and Admissions Officer, students were blocked if they lacked physical copies of their admission requirements. 

“In the first semester, we were hoping that all the requirements would be submitted by then. And in our system, we block those that have lacking (hardcopy) requirements,” he said. 

Students were allowed to sign waivers to be unblocked if they promised to comply with the lacking requirements within the same semester. The same system applies for the recently opened semester, Macahig confirmed.

While he believed students were “properly informed” of the need to submit their requirements since they announced it on the SU website and Facebook page in the first semester, students expressed that they did not receive any notice of their lacking requirements and their “blocked” status before enrollment. 

Some students shared other difficulties in enrolling for the second semester.

Engineering student Johann Josh Eullaran said he had a “grueling” enrollment experience.

He added that several meetings with his instructors had to be set up due to his status as an irregular student, alongside the requirements from his minors and his Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program.

Meanwhile, mass communication student Grylle Malala said his enrollment experience was “quite the hassle.”  

“I submitted all my lacking requirements, which [were] from my senior high school pa, so it was quite questionable as to why college nako and my lacking requirements [were] katong two years ago pa in the pandemic,” he said. “I hope we can make a system that could make it easier for students… to enter the university and enroll, and not be late na sa scheduling sa ilang subjects.” 

In the case of one agriculture student, who chose to remain anonymous, they had to resubmit physical copies of their requirements despite submitting in the previous year through the dropbox.

“All my records were missing, from my report card to my birth certificate, and I had to get original copies sa tanan requirements again,” they said. 

Plans to verify blocked students

According to Dr. Macahig, there are plans to pursue a verification process within the semester because some students claimed they already submitted physical copies of their documents but were still blocked. 

He reassured students, however, that these documents were not lost but possibly not logged in their system.

Matingala pud mi nga mu claim ug submit [because] the process of submitting during the [pandemic] is that: we have a dropbox, our staff would get it, and ibutang sa [ultraviolet] box. After that, [they] would individually log the parcels […] so I don’t know where in between those processes na get in the way,” he said. 

He also stated that the Office of the Registration and Records Management (ORRM), formerly called the Office of Registrar and Admissions, has requested a list of blocked students from the SU Information and Communications Technology division. However, he mentioned that it will take time to verify them. 

“So after this enrollment period, maybe by next week na, we will really start with the verification,” Dr. Macahig said. 

As of writing, ORRM has not yet started the verification process.

System limitations and encouraging students 

Dr. Macahig also said that he is communicating with Enrica Marian Dinopol, SU Student Government (SG) President, to find ways to encourage students to enroll on time. 

“I already explained to the SUSG president [why] the notification does not contain [which] documents [of the students] are lacking. I explained to her that […] there is [a] limitation [to] the system,” he said. 

Dr. Macahig added that the system is “fragmented,” wherein one system is solely for admissions, one for enrollment, and another for transcripts. 

However, students were also notified to visit ORRM to “personally address their concerns.”

“I apologize to the students who [experienced this], but I would also encourage them to also check their emails from time to time […] and our announcements. I hope that we can [resolve this], as we expressed with the SUSG President, who is also willing to echo [our announcements] to the students,” he said. 

Last Jan. 22, the SUSG posted about the enrollment concerns via their official Facebook page. The post also included a step-by-step process to track one’s enrollment status. 

Submission alternatives

To help the students, ORRM provided waivers they can sign when they still need to submit their admission requirements. 

“We noticed that only 50 percent of [the students] enrolled during the first week of the enrollment period.  So what we did was [require] them to sign a waiver—a promise or undertaking—that they would comply with the admission requirements. Then we unblock [the students] so that it will unclog the bottleneck [and that] they can enroll,” Dr. Macahig said. 

The waiver includes the list of missing requirements. Among these requirements are a 2×2 photograph, a good moral certificate from the previous school attended, a good moral certificate from a prominent community member, Form 138, and a medical certificate issued by the SU Medical Center.

Moreover, the waiver also indicated that “the failure to comply with the provided conditions shall invalidate one’s enrollment in the university,” and another notice wherein “one shall not be allowed to enroll in the university for the ensuing term without completing such requirements.” 

Waivers are given by the admissions office, signed by the student, and forwarded to Dr. Macahig for approval.

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