PACE in Arts: A program deeply embedded in curriculum
Arts PACE is a whole of Faculty program that enhances students’ learning, citizenship and employability by offering the opportunity to apply disciplinary knowledge to real situations, and experience first-hand involvement within community and professional settings. Since 2016 PACE is a requirement for all degrees at Macquarie University and the Faculty of Arts PACE team has ensured the program offers activities across all Arts disciplines.
In the new curriculum PACE units sit at the core of all courses and is required of all students at 3000 level. While Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws students can choose their PACE unit from an option set, all other courses offered in the Faculty have a designated PACE unit. Since its inception, the Arts PACE team has supported unit convenors with the pedagogical and operational aspects of all PACE units in the Faculty. In 2021 our Faculty will offer 13 PACE units (Please see list of units at the end of the page).
The PACE program has been a success in our Faculty in terms of student experience, transformational learning, partnerships and employability. Arts PACE strategic plan for the coming years revolves around enhancing the delivery of the program by expanding the ways in which we develop and deliver activities. Co-creating curriculum and further internationalisation through virtual placements is part of this agenda. Also, Arts PACE strategy includes extending the value of PACE to Macquarie academics who are interested in engaging in research with our partner organisations, and with student involvement.
The Faculty PACE team
The Faculty of Arts PACE team is responsible for ensuring all elements of PACE are embedded into the Faculty’s curriculum.
The Arts PACE team has a strong service culture, supporting students, unit convenors and partner organisations with all the components associated with PACE units. The Arts PACE team has oversight of all PACE activities, this includes risk assessment, quality assurance and governance. Relationship management is a key feature of the team, particularly in partner engagement to ensure the sustainability of PACE activities across all units.
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Teaching PACE units in FoA
PACE units are academic units of study with some additional considerations related to the delivery of work-integrated learning (WIL). Teaching a PACE unit is different from teaching other units in the Faculty as PACE convenors may need to engage with students at a more practical and career-oriented level, as well as liaise with partner organisations.
The role of the unit convenor is indeed vital in guiding the development and negotiation of activities with partner organisations. While the Arts PACE team can provide assistance in developing connections to external organisations, the unit convenor is often best placed to advise potential host supervisors about the purpose of their unit and the capabilities of their student cohort. This element of activity negotiation is particularly important when discussing activities that are based on-campus (partner organisations come to campus to work with groups of students).
PACE unit convenors have specific responsibilities which include:
- Developing PACE activities in consultation with partner organisations and ensuring these meet the learning outcomes of their unit.
- Assessing the risk related to the activity, with escalation to the relevant party when needed.
- Approving the PACE activity through an “Activity Statement”.
The Faculty Pace Officers (FPOs) have a portfolio of PACE units within disciplines, providing everyday advice and support to unit convenors related to the operational aspects of the unit. This includes partner relationship management, activity design, risk assessment, and student management. FPOs have developed specialised knowledge about the wide variety of complicated programs and innovative ways of delivering PACE within disciplines. They provide insight into the management of students to ensure quality and sustainable experiences. The FPOs also ensure that all information is captured correctly and complies with PACE system requirements. All PACE activities must have an associated activity statement with risk assessment, nominated host supervisor, completed ‘Roles & Responsibilities’ and all students must complete a ‘student undertaking’. While all PACE activities must receive final approval from the unit convenor, the Arts PACE team are available to support this process