We recognise that this degree is novel in maintaining a vocational focus while not being tied to a particular vocation. The generic graduate profile and the independent and flexible structure are significant departures from traditional narrow subject-based pre-prescribed outcomes and predetermined set courses.
The following diagram shows the three year structure. It is designed to deliver the Graduate Profile through a progressive series of learning outcomes which are clustered into courses (see> Course Summaries pdf). The mapping of Graduate Profile to Learning Outcomes to Courses can be seen in Appendix 14.1.
The degree can best be considered by starting at the end, the individualised “myProfile: My Capabilities” at graduation. This individualised transcript contains the learner’s own articulation of their framework of professional practice. It describes their specific interpretation of the graduate profile in the evidenced description of their specific competencies and capabilities. Evidence is provided that links to work-based experience that they have in demonstrating those attributes (this is directly analogous to the assessment of the Independent Learning Pathway used by Capable NZ in for the BAppMgt and BSS).
The creation of this “my Profile” forms the focus of the degree. Throughout the degree the learner is facilitated to develop and implement their “exit strategy”; what they want do when they graduate, their first job, and what they will do to get there. This forms the basis for their individualised learning and begins even before the degree starts proper, as part of the entry process.
The diagram characterises four types of learning (in reality these are overlapping and integrated with elements of each within each other). All of these operate within a framework of reflective practice.
- Emergent Professional Framework: this forms the infrastructure for the degree. Regular reflective check-ins develop the exit strategy
- Curated experience: these might be work-based learning experiences
- Targeted learning: these are individualised opportunities for learning specific competencies and capabilities. These might learnt via any means including self-directed learning, online resources, projects or through otherwise scheduled classes (eg courses from BAppMgt).
- Leadership for Change Projects (LfCP): Substantial project work aligned with the learner’s framework of practice. Both individual and group projects.
The first year is focussed on achieving:
● Understanding and confidence of identity;
● A personal framework of practice; and
● A self-directed learning toolkit.
The Emergent Professional Framework provides an infrastructure that wraps around a series of curated experiences, aimed at exposing the learner to a variety of models of thought. The curation of these experiences will be about creating an experience specific for each learner but taking advantage of collaborative and collective learning of small groups wherever possible. They will mostly be in the form of experiences that scaffold towards the later and more substantial projects. Here, and throughout the degree, learners will be expected to work both alone and in groups, creating a community of practice.
The first block will focus on identity, and could take the form of an intensive residential experience. The identity course serves to give each learner a baseline measure of where they are at with themselves in their personal and professional development. From this baseline, progress can then be measured. Tools such as the 21st Century Skills, from the World Economic forum will be used as a way for learners to establish where their strengths and weaknesses lie and identify where they choose to focus for their personal and professional development. The identity course is an impactful and supportive start to the degree.
The Emergent Professional Framework “toolkit” will include building the skills required to successfully undertake this sort of degree, particularly critical thinking and reflective practice. A “Skills for Transformation” block of learning provides an introduction to the specific skills of transformation; communication, collaboration, as well as concepts of resilience and transformation.
The Curated Experience is a purposeful experiential learning activities in which the learning occurs through the experience. A key feature of this that the experience spans a range of models of work practice. It not just the same work done in different places. So, for example, a leaner might be interested in working on housing quality, we would ensure that they experienced a range of these – local government, housing NZ, landlord agencies, social service, marae and start-up social enterprise. They might all claim to focus on housing quality, but have very different understandings, theoretical underpinnings, measures of success, etc., which can be characterised as models of work practice. The curated experience can, then include work experiences, community and industry projects and structured problem solving activities if they provide an opportunity for experiencing different models of work practice. By the end of the first year, learners should have experienced a range of these different models of work practice and have some idea of which they have affinity for.
The second year starts with a reassertion of the framework of practice and a consideration of the competencies and capabilities required of the intended graduation framework of practice. The first semester allows for targeted learning wrapped around a mini project. After a significant check-in, the learner will then spend time in an environment that as closely as possible matches their intended third year project and eventual workplace: “Leadership for Change placement”. A short burst of targeted learning will focus on any ideas identified during the Leadership for Change placement. Finally in year 2, the learner recaps and reasserts their intended framework of practice and a plan for year 3.
In year three, the Emergent Professional Framework element is reduced further and the main focus of the year is the learner’s Leadership for Change project. In accordance with the community of practice, they would also contribute to their colleagues’ project in a collaborative fashion (in all three years).
Note the collaborative aspects are purposefully less explicit as the degree progresses. The intention is that collaborative and collective way of working is normalised to the point where this is the natural way of working (but not explicitly required to allow for the possibility of remote individual projects).