This project builds on the success of the 2014 and 2015 Sydney Teaching Colloquium ambassadors and involves five student ambassadors, supported by a student mentor, and working in collaboration with five unit coordinators to improve student learning about cultural competence in five units of study:
- PHTY3086 Physiotherapy in multisystem problems (Faculty of Health Sciences)
- ENGG2852 Project based organisational behaviour (Faculty of Engineering and IT)
- EDUP2009 Intercultural understanding in HSIE K-6 (Faculty of Education and Social Work)
- GEOS1003 Introduction to Geology (Faculty of Science)
- HSTY3902 History beyond the classroom (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)
The 2014 Ambassadors were co-authors of an article published in early 2016 in the International Journal for Academic Development’s Special Issue on Engaging students as partners. Through the process, they learned about academic publication and peer review. The 2015 Ambassadors will follow suit and are currently preparing their own journal article for publication. A highlight in 2015 was the presentation by the Student Ambassadors about cultural competence. In the STC feedback, it was considered to be the session that most changed university teachers’ thinking about cultural competence.
In this year’s project, we are aiming to extend the Student Ambassador initiative beyond the Teaching Colloquium to better support the university’s program of curriculum renewal in the area of cultural competence.
The project is linked with an OLT ‘Transforming Practice Programme’, which provides support to 11 Australian universities working with students as partners.