Practicum Program for VET Students
The College employs a variety of teaching approaches with a heavy emphasis on learning through practical experience. The College Practicum program is an integral feature of the academic program. Students are able to learn both theory and practice side by side in and through the ministry departments of Hillsong Church. The program includes practical involvement in the daily ministry activities of Hillsong Church and incorporates mentoring, coaching and work placement as part of its scope.
To ensure quality and consistency in practicum training, all specialists must be provided with induction training prior to being assigned a student.
The Practicum induction program ensures that specialists are familiar with:
- The purpose and focus of work placement
- How to complete the Practicum Passport
- How and when to complete the Specialist Feedback Form
- How to induct students
- What support is available to them from the Practicum Training Team.
Working With Children Checks
Some practicum placements will involve working with children in a voluntary capacity. Students wanting to be involved in such areas will be required to attain their Working With Children Check. This includes the state-based government Working With Children Check, and the Working With Children Check specific to Hillsong Church, which includes a pastoral interview. Students will be guided through this process during Orientation Week.
Practicum arrangements with Specialists
Regular communication and support to specialists is provided. Specialists receive a monthly email from the Practicum Team. The aim of the contact is to ascertain:
- Progress with their supervision and any specific follow-up needs.
- Providing opportunities for students to be withdrawn from routine work for the purpose of developing competence in other ways.
- Ensuring duty of care and providing support.
Orientation of Students in the workplace
Specialists are asked to provide a completed job description to the practicum office prior to students starting their role. A Hillsong College Trainer checks the job description to ensure that tasks and responsibilities are in line with student training needs. The purpose of this is also to ensure that students are provided with clear direction prior to starting their practicum placement.
Specialists are also required to induct their student within the first week of starting their practicum placement. This is documented by the specialist using the ‘specialist meeting agenda’ provided by the college. This agenda must be provided to the college within the first week of the student starting their placement.
Monitoring student progress
The college is committed to monitoring student progress to ensure that students are developing skills and knowledge as planned. This monitoring also helps to confirm that students are receiving the support they need.
All students are given access to the Practicum Passport tab which is the assessment tool and record of attendance for their Practicum. They work with their specialist throughout the semester as they develop their skills and progress towards meeting their performance requirements. The student and specialist discuss and sign-off their attainment of the requirements. Students can also discuss their progress towards meeting performance requirements with their Hillsong College Trainer. The Hillsong College Trainer receives the completed passport near the end of semester to include in the students assessment for the relevant subjects.
Practicum Passport Attendance
Attendance recording consists of students having their practicum passports signed weekly by their ministry specialist and then also checked by their Hilsong College Trainer in weekly tutorial sessions. Hillsong College Trainers are also available to answer questions and/or provide feedback.
Our attendance policy requires an 80% minimum attendance. Student’s need to consider both normal class attendance & Practicum attendance as the contributing element. Two missed weekly or weekend practicums would place a student in the 80% minimum for Practicum attendance. NYC’s will be assessed on a case by case basis by the Academic Dean.
Weekly communication with Students
Monitoring will also help you to confirm that learners are receiving the support they need.
Trainers communicate regularly with students in their weekly tutorials in order to:
- Discuss progress
- Identify further support needed
- Identify a need to adjust plans for training and assessment