The Development of Smile and Smart Center, a Student Caring System, to Support Smart, Good, and Happy Students

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Chujai Chuaichoo
Pavarud Puangsri
Nopporn Thamrongrat
Chatchapon Yingdamnun
Jiraporn Jaroenpool
Nathjanan Sobmoh
Piyawat Kongin
Naiyana Noonil
Sarawoot Palipoch
Saifon Aekwarangkoon

Abstract

            This action research aimed to develop a system of care among Walailak University students to be smart, good, and happy. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants from representatives of administrators, lecturers, staff, as well as students from 13 schools, 3 international colleges, and supportive organizations in Walailak University. The study was conducted through three phases. The data were collected and analyzed using an individual interview, focus-group discussion, brain storming, and observations. The initial phase of the study started with finding the right participants to set goals and discuss action plans. The working phase included policy implementation, target population’s competency enhancement, along with cooperation and integration in order to develop an effective system. In the final phase, the process focuses on follow-up and reinforcement through coaching and setting up a forum for an exchange of ideas to promote continuous and sustainable development of the system. The structure of the system was driven by many groups of people in the university, namely, administrators, lecturers, staff, and students. They collaborated to meet the identity and context of each school through various strategies specified to develop student characteristics to be smart, good, and happy. The process led to networks of collaboration, a referral system to experts and support group through coaching. As a result, the study found that for the part of “being smart”, the development scheme has successfully encouraged students to perform better at school, thus reduced the number of students with a GPA of less than 2.00. This resulted in a lower dropout rate and better academic outcomes. For the part of “being good”, more students engaged in activities that benefit society and record them in a Student’s Activity Passport. Encouraging the movement in this part is the most difficult because the goal is abstract and difficult to measure. For the last part “being happy”, students gained access to various channels of support through caring systems from teachers, staff and peers. As for suggestions, the stakeholders should strengthen the characteristics of goodness to be more concrete and clearer.

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Research Article

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