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How appreciative Inquiry works in the Department of Social work

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Inspired by the outcome of the Strategic Plan in the Convention Baptist Ministers Association, I tried to replicate the experience in the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University. I was still the chairman of the Department at that time. Doing similar process, involving students, faculty and alumni we have formulated the vision-mission of the Department and subsequent thrusts.

Using the guide questions, as it were, we started the first activity of the 4-D cycle, i.e. Discover. Sharing what we perceived as best practices and positive experiences, we also specified what we valued most in the organization. Then, we proceeded to the next step – Dreams for the association in coming three to five years. From the product of the first two stages, we were led to the next step. i.e. Design. Here, we spent some time in consolidating our answers into provocative statements. In each stage, answers were written in Meta cards, posted on the board and clustered later after discussion.

We situated the vision-mission statement in the context of the new international definition of Social Work and the strategic plan of the University. The statement was a product of tedious but participatory process involving faculty, students, alumni of the Department.

VISION: A Balanced Education founded on person’s worth and dignity enhancing the total well-being towards Self actualization and Transformation of society (BEST)

MISSION : To carry out a program characterized by Spirituality and Excellence which enhances Relationship and Volunteerism towards Integrated development through Collective and Experiential learning (SERVICE)

The following are agreed thrusts:
VOCATION: A Department that exemplifies the Christian Spirituality in the context of Asian and Pilipino culture with faculty and staff serving as models.

PROFESSIONAL GROWTH: Highly qualified faculty members, with at least MSW degree, constantly working at improving their craft and able to draw the best in students to effectively and efficiently interact with the changing environment

ACADEMIC FREEDOM
: Center of academic excellence in Visayas with multi-oriented courses that are responsive to a changing society with strong research foundation and documentation-publication services on experiential learning.

HUMAN DIGNITY: Center of advocacy and alternative development programs and services for the enhancement of human worth and dignity making people value their humanity and thereby contributing towards building a better world.

POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP: A community which fosters positive and enabling relationship between and among students, faculty and staff resulting to a productive development endeavors.

INSTITUTIONAL GROWTH: Increase in number of students representing all strata of society with strong conviction for excellence and commitment in holistic development as professional social workers.

Unfortunately, I was not able to supervise the implementation of the last stage i.e. Deliver like that of the CBMA. Exigencies of service compelled me to serve as director of the University Outreach Center. However, I brought the same process in the outreach program and again spearheaded the Strategic Plan. In resuming my previous position, brought about by the leave of absence of my successor, I have the opportunity to refresh the academic community with our endeavors and continue the stage which I missed earlier in the strategic plan courtesy of the appreciative Inquiry.

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