CCA undertakes record number of professional development events

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has undertaken a record number – 20 sessions – of professional development activities during first half of 2020.

After the Coronavirus pandemic began to impact Australian social, economic, educational and communal life in early March 2020, CCA was forced to cancel its planned face-to-face professional development programs. CCA immediately adapted the programs to distance and online learning, and achieved a remarkable number of new programs and member participants.

Executive coaching for CEOs took place with 12 CEOs and other executive leaders and deputy CEOs. “Coaching naturally lends itself to distance – Skype, Zoom and telephone – communications, and was a natural fit for the ‘social distancing’ requirements of the pandemic. The program commenced in January 2020 and continued through June 2020, recording more than 80 sessions with the participants. Our 2020 coaching program was CCA’s most successful ever,” said CEO Dr Don Perlgut.

CCA converted the planned CEO-Chair-Senior Board Director workshops to a series of nine professionally facilitated CEO-Chair-Board governance Zoom videoconference sessions. “From March through June, CCA recorded 260 participant registrations representing 81 different people from every CCA member,” said Dr Perlgut.

CCA ran its Strategic HR Essentials training series over four weekly videoconference sessions in May and June. “We received 114 registrations from 36 different people, representing the majority of CCA members. Because the series received such outstanding evaluation results, we hope to double the number of sessions and run them again in 2020/21,” said Dr Perlgut.

CCA’s VET Managers meetings in 2020, organised by CCA Policy & Projects Manager, Evelyn Goodwin, involved more than 60 participants, and continued the model of informing, networking and workshopping issues and practices useful for professional VET practice.

Indigenous engagement: In June, CCA presented three online interactive videoconference training for members staff on how to use the new Engaging Indigenous Australians handbook. Robyn Forester, CEO of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC), conducted the sessions, with almost 100 CCA member participants.

Speech communications: A session on “How to Reshape Your Communication for a Videoconference World” was led by speech communications consultant and corporate trainer Michael Kelly in June 2020, involving almost 50 participants.

Coming up in early 2020/21

CCA will soon launch four new governance audio podcasts, to follow the 2018 and 2019 podcast series, which combined have received a total of 1537 downloads. Working titles of four new podcasts are:

  • Governance in a time of crisis
  • Leadership in a time of crisis
  • Does culture really eat strategy for breakfast?
  • Risk management in a time of pandemic

The CCA Project Management Fundamentals workshops will also transfer to interactive online videoconferencing. They have been designed for CCA member VET Managers and other CCA member staff to build their capability to manage educational projects.

Funding: Many of the programs above were supported by the NSW Department of Education through the 2019-20 ACE Teaching and Leadership Program, which is aligned to the Department’s priority to improve adult and community education outcomes. CCA thanks the NSW Government for its assistance and support.

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