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
Many practicum placements will involve working with children in a voluntary capacity. Therefore all students will undergo a Working With Children Check during Orientation Week. This will include a Pastoral interview & a national police check through the Roads & Maritime Services. Details for requirements for international students can be found at :
Allocation of Students to specialists
To ensure adequate level of supervision, the practicum allocations are made using the following specialist training ratios. Each specialist may have a maximum of 20 points.
- Certificate IV in Ministry (1st year) students = 2 points
- Diploma of Ministry (2nd year) students = 3 points
- Advanced Diploma of Ministry (3rd year) student = 5 points
Students who are in their 2nd semester of Diploma or in their Advanced Diploma can be Specialists.
- Diploma, 2nd semester students can only supervise Cert IV students
- Advanced Diploma students can supervise Cert IV and/or Diploma students
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- Providing opportunities for students to be withdrawn from routine work for the purpose of developing competence in other ways.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. The Practicum Tutorial Leader 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 issued with a Practicum Passport 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 Practicum Tutorial Leader. The Practicum Tutorial Leader 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 Practicum Tutorial Leaders in weekly tutorial sessions. Practicum Tutorial leaders 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.
Conference Intensives Attendance
Conference Intensive attendance is recorded via a timesheet with hours completed & signed by the chosen specialists for the intensive period. The amount of hours required varies with each award so students are to refer to their Subject Syllabus. Students have 2 weeks to complete the intensive hours and classes are included in these hours (but not chapel). Usual weekly & weekend practicum is in addition to these intensive hours.
The timesheets are included in the Subject Syllabus & students will need to print them, fill them out & obtain the appropriate signatures before uploading them to the Student Portal. These must be uploaded via the Student Portal as pdf, word, or jpeg format. Pages format will not be accepted.
Students are required to meet the attendance requirement for Conference as outlined in the Subject Syllabus. This is in addition to any other assessment conditions that are required in the Subject Syllabus dependent on the award currently enrolled.
Weekly communication with Students
Monitoring will also help you to confirm that learners are receiving the support they need.
Tutorial leaders 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
Scheduled on site Visits
On site visits to monitor training and assessment are conducted on an ongoing basis. College staff with training and assessment qualifications will make regular site visits and make contact with both specialists and students. The workplace checklist is completed whilst on site and college staff have a priority focus on:
- Work Health & Safety of Students whilst on site
- Skill development opportunities provided to students are appropriate
- Support needs of specialists are identified and addressed