CHED grants virtual, limited f2f internship

Hector O. Cofreros

Due to restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of San Agustin downshifts its student internship courses to virtual and limited face-to-face, following the guidelines set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The Admissions, Scholarships, and Placement Office (ASPO) shared with The Augustinian the status of the internships in the university, detailing the modifications it has taken to ensure the safety of its students.

“Last second semester of the academic year 2020-2021, student interns had their internship with various partner companies. Companies were endorsed to ASPO and was checked and verified in DOLE Philjobnet. These companies also submitted their company profile and Business Permits. This was done to guarantee that the companies are [legitimate] to ensure the safety of our student interns,” the ASPO wrote in reply.

Meanwhile, following the approval of CHED Regional Office VI, the university also started to implement limited face-toface internships on some of its programs under the College of Health and Allied Medical Professions.

“The BS Medical Laboratory Science (BS MLS) student interns for the 1st semester sy 2021- 2022, fortunately, was allowed, and they conducted their face-toface internship with the approval from CHED RO6. The BS Nursing program was also approved faceto-face internship with the BS MLS,” shared ASPO.

The Augustinian reached out to students and faculty members from different academic programs affected by the shift to virtual internship setup.

“It was both easy and difficult for me as the internship was done online; I was in the comforts of my home when it started. There was no hassle in going to the workplace or problems if whether or not I could go home as early as possible, but at the same time, it was also difficult in a way that we didn’t get to have a lot of experience directly. It would be nice if the OJT were done face-to-face, even if it is in a limited amount of time,” stated Jel Galicia, a fourth-year BS Pharmacy student, pondering on the comfort and disadvantages of virtual internships.

For Reyner Cawa, a fourth year BS Psychology student who is yet to take his virtual internship next semester, he would personally want to have face-toface training with safety protocols in place.

“Knowing the current situation of Iloilo City as it is slowly reducing the number of active and new cases every day while vaccinating the Ilonggos, I’d personally want to have a face-to-face internship with safety protocols. I think having an internship in a face-to-face setting would help us more in gaining experience as to what our profession does in a real-life setting,” said Cawa.

Moreover, for Rhoda Garzon Campillan, academic supervisor of the AB Communications program, the virtual internship was quite challenging to be implemented at first but was successful.

“The program needs to revise the internship manual to cater to the new normal. There were a lot of preparations, but I am super grateful as the AS of the program that the virtual internship was successful. Our students did not apply; but instead, they were assigned. The AB Com program is the one who scouted for the internship venues,” shared Campillan.

Additionally, Campillan shared with The Augustinian how she monitors the students under her department who are taking their internship, given that everyone is at a remote setup.

“I was always part of the virtual meetings between the students and our partner institutions, so I have the chance to monitor their performance. I also established a strong working relationship with the Internship Supervisors, and so they always make it a point to communicate with me the progress of the students,” added Campillan.

In correspondence with Dr. Arnold P. Anceno, Regional Education Supervisor of CHED Region VI, the Commission on Higher Education highlights the possibility of face-to-face student internship given the recent developments and consultation with the higher educational institutions and local government units.

“The Commission on Higher Education and Department of Health and IATF has issued JMC 2021-001 on the guidelines for Limited Face-To-Face classes during COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, through a series of Town Hall Meetings conducted by the Commission with the different HEIs and LGUs concerned in the country, the expanded Limited Face-To-Face classes will include all programs,” wrote Anceno.

Published: March 26, 2022