PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) is a University-wide initiative designed to provide undergraduate students with experiential learning opportunities with a range of local, regional and international partners.
PACE provides the academic framework through which students engage with the community, learn through participation, develop their capabilities and build the skills valued by employers. By completing a PACE unit, students contribute to partner organisational goals and develop skills and capabilities while gaining academic credit towards their degree.
In addition to undergraduate PACE units, the initiative also incorporates a wide range of activities, including:
- pedagogical research and development
- collaborative research ventures with partners
- extra-curricular, volunteer experiences for students in international settings.
These activities enable, foster and contribute to the University’s goal of service and engagement.
The University's strategic direction is laid out in Our University: A Framing of Futures [PDF6.8MB]. In the University's plan PACE is identified as 'a signature transformative learning program that distinguishes Macquarie University.' This identification has formed the overarching context for the development of the PACE Strategic Plan 2014 -2016 [PDF 1.4MB].
PACE enduring goals
- To connect students, partners and staff of Macquarie University in sustained and mutually beneficial learning activities and relationships
- To develop students who are work and life ready: socially and environmentally responsible citizens with the capability for critical thinking and reflective practice
- To contribute to Macquarie University's aspiration to be a leading university of service and engagement
Overall strategic intentions for 2014-2016
- To expand PACE as a signature transformative learning program that distinguishes Macquarie University
- To embed PACE as a requirement of all undergraduate degree programs for students commencing in 2016
Beyond 2016, we aspire to PACE longevity, sustainability and the broadening of engagement opportunities available to postgraduates, partners, staff, alumni and future students.
The PACE initiative is based on the following principles:
PACE will maintain the highest ethical standards, ensuring that respect for difference, proper processes of consultation and duty of care towards students, staff and partners are of central importance.
Partnership and reciprocity
PACE will form partnerships which are mutually beneficial and which foster mutual respect and joint ownership.
PACE will enter into partnerships and encourage activities which develop a sense of social responsibility among all stakeholders, thus enhancing the university's reputation as a socially engaged university.
PACE units and activities will be underpinned by academic rigour.
Recognition of and respect for diverse ways of doing, being and knowing
PACE will provide flexibility and choice in the selection, design, experience and assessment of activities for students, staff and partners.
Whole person learning
PACE units and activities will seek to engage students' intellectual, emotional and social capabilities.
Knowledge generation and dissemination
PACE will provide research opportunities for students, staff and partners. Results from the research will be disseminated both within Macquarie and shared with the wider community.
PACE will provide open access to information and decision making processes for students, staff and partners.
Equity of access to resources
PACE will provide opportunities for all students to participate regardless of socio economic status, living circumstances, ethnicity, gender and capacity.