The Centre for Learning and Scholarship Skills (CLASS) is as a hub for scholarship and research in Christian higher education. In alignment with the mission, vision and values of Alphacrucis (AC) University College, the Centre’s mission is to equip educators and learners to excel in Christian higher education learning and teaching. CLASS features the three distinct functions of training, research, and development.
The AC Research and Scholarship Framework is inspired by Ernest Boyer’s model (1990), whereby the research/teaching nexus can be profiled through active, peer-reviewed, publicly available, and continuously developed scholarship. It aligns with TEQSA’s Compliance Guide: Scholarship (2021), which states that scholarship encompasses two broad aspects, namely contributing to the advancement of knowledge or professional practice in one’s discipline and advancing knowledge or professional practice in a field. Scholarship is directly associated with informing teaching and learning, including disciplinary scholarship; and contributes to the design and delivery of courses of study. Multi-disciplinary scholarship is encouraged, providing there is a clear link to information teaching practice in the subject being taught.
AC fosters a vibrant scholarship culture through:
- relevant policies and procedures;
- popular and peer-reviewed publications;
- course development and review processes;
- resource allocation;
- colloquia, seminars and conference participation and presentations;
- communities of practice;
- staff discounts on course fees;
- Special Studies Leave, secondments and other scholarly leave.
CLASS features the three distinct functions of training, research, and development.
Prioritising Learning and Teaching is not new at AC. From development of original curriculum with AC’s inaugural Bachelor of Contemporary Ministry degree (commenced in 2008) to programs such as junior faculty lunches, colloquia (commenced in 2009) and professional development workshops for faculty, AC’s commitment to excellence in learning, teaching, and scholarship has been an ongoing pursuit. In 2017, AC hosted the inaugural conference of the Australian Christian Higher Education Alliance, with a focus on envisioning best practices and innovative ideas in Christian higher education. This, in addition to increased demand for a focused outlet for faculty and student scholarship have been the catalysts for the introduction of CLASS. While the centre in its current form was introduced in 2017, its activities have been ongoing for a number of years.
Learning and Teaching Plan and Framework
CLASS supports the objectives and projects in the AC Learning and Teaching Plan. AC Learning and Teaching is guided by the transformative potential of the subject areas it works in to create a more peaceable and sustainable future. AC's Learning and Teaching Framework outlines the principles and practices that guide learning and teaching at AC, and it works in conjunction with AC Strategic Plan, AC Learning and Teaching Plan and contiguous operational plans.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Pratima Durga as the new Director of the Centre for Learning and Scholarship Skills (CLASS). Pratima has over two decades of experience in management and has been teaching in AC's business programs for many years. She was nominated in 2017 and 2018 for AC’s Excellence in Teaching Awards. Most recently she was commissioned to write a report on Central Highlands Community Wellbeing and Resilience during COVID-19. As part of CLASS, Pratima will also be the coordinator of AC's Women’s Leadership Forum.
Alphacrucis University College sent seven delegates to the Australian Christian Higher Education Alliance (ACHEA) Christian Education: Reason and Relevance conference. To read more about the conference themes and AC's involvement, please click here.
Article by Dr David Hastie, Associate Dean, Faculty of Education, Arts, and Social Sciences here