Pecha Kucha Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Encouraging and recognising learning for life not just career (#336)

Christopher R Picone 1
  1. Australian College of Kuwait, Safat, Kuwait

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)

In recent years the term life-career has been increasingly used to highlight that learning is not just in preparation for a career but for a future life. Graduates need a vision not only for their desired career path but also their personal, family and community futures. To encourage students to actively plan for their holistic futures, many universities offer Lifewide Award programs such as the Phoenix Award at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia and the York Award in the United Kingdom. Within the Gulf, the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) has established the ACK Award for students who set and regularly record progress towards their lifewide goals. The ACK Award is a tiered program with four incremental levels to encourage continued involvement over a four year period. Each participant has a mentor who is either a staff member or approved Alumni. Accordingly, active participants in the program are invited back after graduation to be mentors for new students. Participants must meet with their mentor on a monthly basis and the mentor maintains a notation of such meetings to confirm eligibility for the Award at the end of each tiered level. Participants in the ACK Award program can record their goals and achievements either using hardcopy or online forms. The proposed conference mini workshop or roundtable will discuss current theory regarding scaffolds to nurture lifewide learning; then a summary of the ACK Award program as a Gulf example of such a framework within a multicultural learning environment, and finally an exchange of experiences and ideas by participants in any similar programs to consider how lifewide learning can be further nurtured within higher education generally.

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

The umbrella theme for the conference is "Learning for life and work in a complex world".  The proposed mini workshop or roundtable is focused on recognition programs within Higher Education that officially encourage and endorse student goal setting and achievement not only in the academic arena but also in extra-curricular activities.  The author has received support from the Australian College of Kuwait to establish the ACK Award program which is a tiered award for students who set and record progress towards lifewide goals with structured mentoring support from faculty members.  The first student participants in the ACK Award have now completed their Bronze level of the Award and have moved up to the Silver level.  The author will summarise the ACK Award model and then invite sharing of experiences and ideas from conference delegates.  A key innovation of the ACK Award is the four tiered system to encourage ongoing and not just once off participation.  Therefore, upon graduation, the students have developed a habit of regular lifewide goal setting and review which is important for future life-career balance.

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