Tracer Study on the LSQC SHS Pioneer Batch

Background of the study

A tracer study was conducted by the Office of the Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs in Senior High School in SY 2018-2019 in collaboration with selected Grade 12 students under the Research/Capstone Project Class to gather data that will help determine whether the pioneer senior high school graduates of Lourdes School Quezon City were able to pursue their desired college program in their preferred school, identify whether coping mechanisms employed so far in college reflect both positive and undesirable practices acquired from their formation in senior high school, and gather further their feedback and insights on different aspects of the senior high school program. Hence, qualitative and quantitative methods were used with thematic analysis and descriptive statistics for its research design.

A tracer study relies heavily on the instrument used to gather data; thus, the researchers had to establish the intrinsic value of the questionnaire or the tracer survey. After a focus group discussion with five alumni, the first draft of the survey questionnaire was edited and two rounds of validation were conducted for the purpose. The validation process also required the expertise of five experts external from the school .

Out of 73 graduates of the senior high school pioneer batch, 65 participated in the study. Subsequently, thematic analysis was adopted for nine random interviews conducted from alumni of the said batch.

Highlights of the Results

Career Pathing

The table shows the College Admission Profile of LSQC alumni with the objective to identify the schools our alumni enrolled for college. The table shown below presents the number of students that were admitted to selected universities/colleges and the number of students who have actually enrolled in these universities or colleges.


Number of Students Who Enrolled for the First Semester of First Year in College, AY 2018-2019 Number of Students Who Passed the Entrance or Admission Test

University of the Philippines

5 9
University of Santo Tomas 23


Ateneo De Manila University

2 2
De La Salle University 4


De La Salle- College of Saint Benilde

7 15
Far Eastern University 8


Mapua University

6 22
Others 10


Total 65


Data showed that University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Far Eastern University (FEU) ranked highest with most students who passed the entrance exam: 38 and 23 respectively. However, despite the number of students that qualified, not all of them enrolled in the said universities with only 23 for UST and 7 for FEU. Other schools not specified in the list but with one to two passers were the following universities: Adamson University, Lyceum Northwestern University, HOFSTRA University, New York University (NYU), University of the East Ramon Magsaysay (UERM), Letran Manila, De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Centro Escolar University (CEU), Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Trinity University of Asia (TUA), University of the East (UE), Chinese General Hospital College, Kalayaan College,  Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).

It is notable that there were only 65 respondents, but there had been 145 successful college applications. This implies that on the average, a Lourdesian alumnus has successfully merited application in 2 or 3 colleges or universities.

Some Lourdesians were not just able to pass 2 or 3 universities but also able to enroll to universities of their choice. 87.70% of respondents have enrolled in a college/university which is their primary or secondary choice. Of the 87.70%, 66.20% successfully enrolled in the school of their first choice. On the other hand, most of the alumni respondents enrolled in a college program of their primary (47.69%) and secondary choice (36.92%).

71. 64% of the alumni respondents cited Personal Choice as significant factor in choosing the school for college. On the other hand, Peers and Non-Acceptance to their first option obtained the lowest among the factors (17.91% & 20.90%). Meanwhile, personal interest, family influence, and aspirations/dreams were cited highest among factors considered by the respondents for the choice of college program. Furthermore, personal interest among other factors obtained the highest percentage (88.06%).

Majority of the respondents are currently taking Bachelor of Science programs with 54 respondents (83.08%) while 11 respondents or 16. 92% have enrolled in Bachelor of Arts programs. It can be noted that there were 65 out of the 73 alumni of the senior high school pioneer batch of LSQC who participated in this study. More than half of the respondents belonged to the STEM strand (58.9%) while the rest are under the General Academic Strand (GAS). The pioneer batch belonged to both strands only.

Interestingly, most of the respondents’ current college program is aligned with their SHS strand accounting for 56.92% of the respondents. Conversely, 43.1% were not aligned with their current college program though some of them are uncertain about their response strand owing perhaps to most of the respondents then were under GAS.

Majority of the respondents were not required to take bridging classes in college. 6. 15% of the respondents were required to take these classes as imposed by their college.

Coping Mechanism

The study revealed that challenging tasks and projects, lack of time management, and frequency by which college teachers teach in class were a few of the many difficulties being confronted by the alumni respondents during their first year in college. Interestingly, attending classes regularly to avoid absences and trying to balance social and academic life were topmost of the coping mechanisms being employed.

Alumni Perception

The tables presented below summarize the responses provided by Batch 2018 alumni. These tables have been hierarchically ordered based on the mean of each item. Further, a composite mean was computed for the scale.

Table 1. Lourdesian senior high school alumni abilities perceived evident in college

Ability Mean Data Interpretation
I am able to deal professionally with college instructions and professors. 4.52 Very Evident
I am able to adjust well with the personalities of faculty members. 4.48 Evident
LSQC has prepared me well for college. 4.46 Evident
I can relate well with my classmates and peers. 4.45 Evident
I possess the right attitudes and disposition of a student pursuing a college program. 4.41 Evident
I am able to do research and use proper citations. 4.38 Evident
I am confident that I will survive college and on time. 4.34 Evident
I am able to write academic reports and papers at a college level. 4.32 Evident
I believe my skills and competencies are enough to battle my way through college. 4.27 Evident
I am confident in joining organizations, extra- and co-curricular activities. 4.25 Evident
I have the ability to express myself well and defend my point of view. 4.20 Evident
I am academically prepared for college courses. 4.04 Evident
I know how to budget my time well. 3.93 Evident
Composite Mean 4.31 Evident

Table 1 presents the perception of LSQC pioneer SHS graduates on abilities/skills acquired and developed from their SHS formation that are being applied in college . Dealing with college instruction and professors was interpreted very evident with the highest mean of 4.52. Interestingly, time management posted the lowest mean though still interpreted as evident. The items categorized as abilities/skills were based on the focus group discussion conducted among the alumni of the said batch.

Table 2. Perceived Strengths and Weaknesses of the LSQC-SHS Program

Key Features of the LSQC SHS Program Mean Data Interpretation
Discipline 4.71 Strength
Leadership Training (LLEAP) 4.67 Strength
Values Formation 4.67 Strength
Research Awareness 4.64 Strength
Teacher’s Knowledge of the Subject Matter 4.58 Strength
Quality of Instruction 4.53 Strength
Co-curricular Activities (i.e. SHS Week) 4.53 Strength
Extension (SAP) and Extracurricular Activities 4.53 Strength
Teaching and Learning Environment 4.51 Strength
Teachers’ Pedagogical (Teaching) Expertise 4.51 Strength
Teacher-Students Relationship 4.50 Strength
Class Size 4.21 Strength
Facilities 4.17 Strength
Total Mean 4.52 Strength

On the other hand, table 2 on strengths and weaknesses of the LSQC-SHS Program presents the different key features of the LSQC SHS program that were rated by the respondents in terms of their effectiveness and implementation. Based on the data, all key features were interpreted as a Strength or strong feature of the LSQC SHS program. Interestingly, discipline ranked highest among the strengths followed by LLEAP or Lourdesian Leadership Empowerment Activities Program and Values Formation. It appears that the alumni respondents were undoubtedly satisfied with the various programs of LSQC SHS that provided them with the formation they find evidently helpful at present in college.

Table 3.Contribution of LSQC SHS on perceived acquisition of 21st century learning skills

21st-century learning skills Mean Data Interpretation
Lifelong Learning 4.68 To a great extent
Cooperation 4.64 To a great extent
Community-Building 4.61 To a great extent
Career Redefinition 4.59 To a great extent
Compromise 4.55 To a great extent
Knowledge 4.55 To a great extent
Effective Use of Electronic Information 4.50 To a great extent
Using Media Effectively 4.50 To a great extent
Managing Change 4.50 To a great extent
Knowledge Tools 4.46 To a good extent
Organizational Cultures 4.46 To a good extent
Research 4.45 To a good extent
Problem-solving 4.41 To a good extent
Analysis 4.39 To a good extent
Project Management 4.36 To a good extent
Consensus 4.34 To a good extent
Crafting Messages 4.34 To a good extent
Across Diverse Ethnic 4.32 To a good extent
New Knowledge Creation 4.30 To a good extent
Artful Storytelling 4.14 To a good extent
Composite Mean 4.45 To a good extent

Table 3 presents the summary of the different 21st century learning skills perceived to have been acquired from their senior high school education in LSQC. With Lifelong Learning being the highest or ranked first and Artful Storytelling as the lowest, all skills were interpreted as to a good or to a great extent. The 21st century skills were adopted from DepEd.

Table 4. LSQC Core Values Indicators perceived as evident among SHS alumni

Values Mean Data Interpretation
Reverence when addressing God in prayer 4.00 To a good extent
Knowledge of basic Christian prayers 4.05 To a good extent
Upholding Catholic beliefs and practices 3.84 To a good extent
Reverence for places of worship and religious artifacts 4.05 To a good extent
Looking for good alternatives to solve a problem 4.34 To a good extent
Displaying optimism and confidence in all circumstances. 4.18 To a good extent
Enduring difficulties patiently in pursuit of excellence 4.14 To a good extent
Encouraging and inspiring others to work towards a common goal 4.14 To a good extent
Listening to the opinions of others and supporting the decision of the majority 4.16 To a good extent
Upholding the rights, duties, and responsibilities of a Filipino 4.13 To a good extent
Sacrificing time in promoting good and helping others 4.02 To a good extent
Preserving God’s creation through judicious use of resources (i.e. water) 4.14 To a good extent
Showing respect and being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others 4.29 To a good extent
Manifesting genuine concern for the less privileged through involvement in social action activities 3.93 To a good extent
Evaluating and reflecting on work done before taking further actions 4.00 To a good extent
Observing intellectual honesty and integrity in dealings and works 4.23 To a good extent
Accepting one’s limitations and not yielding to peer pressures 4.07 To a good extent
Manifesting humility when praised or corrected 4.21 To a good extent
Acknowledging the ideas and help of other members in a team 4.36 To a good extent
Being punctual in any given circumstance 3.89 To a good extent
Observing proper decorum and behavior at all times 4.04 To a good extent
Inspiring others by setting a good example 4.04 To a good extent
Following instructions and working in an orderly manner requiring minimal or no supervision 4.18 To a good extent
Maximizing potentials and striving hard to accomplish the task at hand  while meeting or surpassing set standards 4.27 To a good extent
Justice And Peace
Helping in mediating between conflicting parties 4.00 To a good extent
Promoting a community that acknowledges and respects differences 4.18 To a good extent
Obeying and following school rules and regulations 4.14 To a good extent
Observing tact and diplomacy in expressing oneself 4.13 To a good extent
Keeping an open mind to avoid misunderstandings 4.27 To a good extent
Total Mean 4.12 To a good extent

Table 4 items were lifted from the value descriptors stated under conduct grading for Lourdesian high school students as found in the Student Handbook. These core values resulted from the focus group discussion conducted among selected respondents. Respondents from the SHS pioneer batch rated how these core values are exhibited or demonstrated in their daily lives. Based on the data, the pioneer batch graduates of LSQC SHS claim to possess and exhibit these core values being espoused by the school to a good extent with indication that LSQC SHS has successfully imbibed them these values. Interestingly, the value-descriptor “Being punctual in any given circumstance” ranked second to the lowest though mean data is still interpreted as to a good extent. Likewise, it is also interesting to note that the value descriptor “Upholding Catholic beliefs and practices” ranked lowest, though still interpreted as to a good extent. This may be worth exploring in the future in consideration of the nature and identity of LSQC being a Catholic school.

Conclusion in Summary

Based on the data gathered, positive feedback was significant from the responses particularly in all aspects or categories explored such as coping mechanisms, LSQC-SHS program, LSQC’s core values formation, and 21st century learning skills. The research concluded that the LSQC senior high school program and current practices as well as the school’s values formation as a whole were perceived by the alumni as effective and more than satisfactory in preparing the students towards college. The school has successfully afforded its students the necessary experience to help them adjust during their adjustment phase in college. Lastly, recommendations mostly in the curriculum were made based on the respondents’ experiences that are contributory for both the school and program improvement.

About the Authors

Mr. Marvin De Pano is currently the senior high school assistant principal for academic affairs of Lourdes School Quezon City. Prior to this position, he was coordinator for senior high school from 2015 until 2018. He holds a master’s degree in English Language Teaching from De La Salle University in Manila and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education major in English from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. The research study was initiated by his office.

The co-authors are senior high school graduates of Batch 2019 from the STEM strand:

ANDRES, Jonathan Lloyd Balmaceda

CONDE, Earl Sonny Delos Santos

LEUNG, Daniel Drake Leonidas

MAGPILE, Sean Gabriel Noriega

MOCORRO JR., Rommel Chu

PARIS, Gwen Marion Cabbab

REGALA JR., Angelito Miguel

YABUT, Asherah Faith Bitong

Full and complete version of the research study may be found at the Poverello Research Journal Vol. 2 (April 2019) and in the Online Poverello Research Database.