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Facilitating student progression through partnerships with industry professional associations Facilitating student progression through partnerships with industry professional associations HOT

CONTEXT  

Professional organisations are recognised as strategic partners for educational institutions.  Industry aligned programs, supported and guided by organisations, are positioned to develop both theoretical and industry skills.  The Built Environment program at CQUniversity was developed in collaboration with industry practitioners to provide students with authentic learning projects.  Aligning students with industry,  whilst  playing  a  fundamental  role  for  networking  and  securing  future  employment,  it  also provides students with the motivation to progress through undergraduate studies. 

PURPOSE OR GOAL 

Research  into  the  factors  influencing  student  progression  and  attrition  abounds  in  the  disciplines  of accounting,  engineering,  medicine  and  nursing.    The  Built  Environment  discipline  however  has  not received the same amount of attention in terms of education research.  Industry exposure for students in  the  Built  Environment  was  believed  to  be  important  in  improving  student  progression  and decreasing attrition but this needed to be tested.   

APPROACH  

The research methodology was a simple, well tested design.  A quantitative analysis of institutional data  between  2001  and  2013,  established  the  context  for  the  research  question  (does  professional membership  promote  progression?)  while  a  survey  of  participants  (current  students)  provided  an understanding  of  the  relationship  between  progression  and  industry  associations.    Confirmation  of findings  was  supported  by  structured  face-to-face  interviews  with  past  students  and  industry professionals.   

ACTUAL OR ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES  

There  is  a  benefit  for  students  in  having  an  industry  association.    Many  professional  organisations require  industry  experience  as  part  of  their  professional  licencing  schemes.    Incorporating  industry exposure  into  an  undergraduate  Build  Environment  Program  facilitates  progression  from  the commencement of study through to employment. 

CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS/SUMMARY  

Exposing  students  to  industry  projects  required  them  to  overcome  qualification  isolation.    Engaging industry  practitioners  as  clients  responsible  for  the  evaluation  of  the  project  outcomes  enabled students  to  develop  industry  pathways,  bridging  the  chasm  between  study  and professional association.    This  highlighted  the  necessity  to  promote  an  understanding  of  the  importance  of professional membership to progression. 

KEYWORDS  

Progression 

Professional organisational memberships 

Industry associations 

Built Environment 

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Created 2016-11-13
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