its citizens. Student affairs practitioners look for ways to integrate appropriate co-curricular learning activities that encourage young men and women to work together as they prepare
for future employment in both the public and private sectors.
Providing professional development opportunities and
educational initiatives for student affairs practitioners in the
region is also a significant issue. All postsecondary institutions in Qatar maintain memberships in both NASPA and
NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The costs
associated with traveling to the United States for professional
development is an impediment; pursuing a graduate degree in
student affairs or higher education is simply not possible for
the vast majority of the local staff employed in Qatar. Early
in 2009, Zayed University in the UAE hosted a well-attended
NASPA event. The possibility of offering a graduate diploma
in student affairs administration in the region is currently
being explored by a group of senior student affairs leaders in
an effort to further professionalize student affairs practice in
Student affairs practice in the Middle East is a unique and
rapidly evolving endeavor and cannot be compared to working
with international students studying at Western postsecondary
institutions. The context for learning is significantly different in the Gulf Region and influences all facets of the student
experience. Student affairs officers must adapt to students’ culture and understand how it will shape activities that promote
student engagement and deeper learning.
in the Philippines
BY JOSE MANUEL ANTONIO M.
Two dominant concerns seem to loom large in the minds of student affairs practitioners who work in Catholic and Christian universities in the Philippines.
University students need to nurture a social conscience in
light of a number of recent events: two typhoons in November
2008; the Massacre in Maguindanao in November 2009; the
success stories of World Boxing Association Champion Manny
Pacquiao and CNN Hero Efren Penaflorida who has brought
education to many poor children; and the forthcoming elections in May 2010, which could very well be the turning
point in the nation’s political and economic history. Student
affairs practitioners in many colleges and universities in the
Philippines have been redesigning their programs and projects
to cater to these recent concerns.
It is important to heighten student awareness of the Filipino
national tradition—especially the principle of pakikipag-kapwa-tao—which encompasses the need to become citizens
of the world and have a global outlook while remaining
focused on local issues and concerns. A variety of programs
and projects, which are spearheaded by academics and student
affairs practitioners, are being implemented to deal with
intercultural counseling and interreligious dialogue in the
pluralistic society of the Philippines. De La Salle University
and the Ateneo University, together with the University of
the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, Adamson
University, Far Eastern University, and St. Paul University,
are among the institutions in Metro Manila that offer
co-curricular programs and projects to address these
In these troubled times, college and university students
need guidance and solicitude, both inside and outside the
classroom, from faculty and student affairs practitioners alike.
More than ever before, these practitioners need to prepare a
non-academic curriculum, which is designed in tandem with
the school’s academic curriculum to effectively address the
total formation of students.