1.2 The ACU Graduate Attributes
Like other Australian universities, ACU has a set of what is known as “graduate attributes”—characteristics that ideally, all graduates would have developed during their time at university. The ACU graduate attributes are embedded strategically in all units and sequenced as a whole across courses. You will see that they bear a close relationship with the ACU Mission, but that they also emphasise the sorts of skills that employers value (“employability skills”).
In this unit, four graduate attributes will be explicitly addressed. On successful completion of this unit, students will have developed their ability to:
- recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society
- think critically and reflectively
- demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession
- demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media.
Remember that the graduate attributes are to be gradually developed across the course of your degree. They do not have to be perfectly developed by the time you reach the end of this unit.
In UNCC100, we will emphasise some of the basic building blocks for the four graduate attributes concerned.
Graduate attributes 2 and 5 will be addressed explicitly through the content of the unit. For example, in a number of activities you will be asked to consider your responsibility to the common good, the environment or society (GA2); in other activities, you will be asked to reflect on the kinds of values upheld by members of your profession, and how you see yourself in relation to these values (GA5).
Graduate attributes 4 and 9 will be addressed particularly through the processes employed in the unit, and to help you identify these processes we use icons to alert you to them. These icons are labelled “think critically” and “think reflectively” (for GA4), and “communicate effectively” (for GA9). Here is an example:
When you see an icon like this, it is also a sign that there are additional resources available to help you to develop this graduate attribute.
How are you going in developing the ACU graduate attributes?
Use the reflective tool: Graduate Attributes: Identify your strengths and weaknesses (on Homepage - Module 1), to assess your strengths and weaknesses at this point in your career.
You can use the tool as many times as you wish until close to the end of semester, when your last selections will be recorded. Indeed, we encourage you to revisit this tool a number of times as you refine your understanding of what the attribute means in a university setting, and judge your own capabilities.
The next task is for you to decide on what you need to do in order to develop them further. You will revisit this reflective practice in Module 4.