CCA Sydney November Conference to focus on student support and engagement

The Community Colleges Australia (CCA) conference – being held in Sydney on November 14 & 15 – will have a focus on the important issue of student support and engagement. A panel of professional educators and researchers will look at the question of “what works?”, “where do you start?” and “what’s enough?”

Drawing insights from experiences in Australian and international tertiary sectors, panellists will discuss how wellness and mental health issues be managed, particularly at a time when these issues appear to be undergoing exponential growth.

The panel brings together vocational education and training (VET) and higher education practitioners who are tackling these issues in different ways, including:

  • Dr Ricky Shabazz, President of San Diego City College, California, who has directed student services programs at San Bernardino Valley College and Compton College. “There are a lot of colleges that say they’re committed to equity and social justice, but there’s very few like City Colleges that carries out that commitment in their practices and faculty. It really aligns with my life’s work,” says Dr Shabazz, who will also be giving a keynote address at the Conference.
  • Dr Danny Lui (pictured), Senior Lecturer, Education Innovation Team, University of Sydney, who brings a systems centric approach to sharing tools that empower teachers to support students at scale.
  • Sharon Aris and Elisa McCloud, Australian College of Applied Psychology, who have developed a Coaching Clinic one stop shop, providing student academic and personal support for Certificate IV learners struggling to complete in an adult learning environment.
  • CCA member community colleges that have developed innovative student programs.

“The quality of student support is a crucial element in learner enrolment, retention and completion outcomes. The processes of enrolment, connection, support services and importantly, the quality of teaching are critical to student satisfaction. It is both complex and multifaceted,” said Evelyn Goodwin, CCA’s Policy Manager.

Panel members will provide insights into their models, then engage with each other and the audience to explore what might work or be applied in other public and community education organisations.

Other student support sessions at the conference include “Social and emotional wellbeing for students and staff in community colleges,” with Dr Robbie Lloyd, Community Relationship Manager, Port Macquarie Community College; and “From school to VET: Supporting and engaging recent school leavers in vocational education,” with Kristen Osborne, NCVER, and George Myconos, Brotherhood of St Laurence.

The panel discussion takes place on Thursday 15 November at the Mercure Hotel. Registration for the Conference is now open.

(photo: Dr Danny Liu)

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