Published on 28 September 2015
A senior University of the Sunshine Coast academic has been recognised internationally for his research into how work-integrated learning (WIL) techniques, such as internships and study tours abroad, can help boost the career prospects of tertiary graduates.
USC Professor of Creative Advertising Rod McCulloch recently presented a paper titled ‘The World as a Classroom: The globalisation of work-integrated learning’ at the prestigious New York International Education Conference in the United States.
Professor McCulloch, who is USC’s Head of the School of Communication and Creative Industries, had his presentation voted Best Paper in Session by fellow academics at the conference.
He said it was a thrill to have his work recognised by his international peers at the conference, which was attended by 360 academics from 53 countries last month.
“My paper was based on research conducted as a result of the WIL activities I’ve been involved in at USC, including the establishment of the on-campus student communications agency ‘Digitall’ and an international industry study tour program,” Professor McCulloch said.
“It was great opportunity to present to peers in that global environment and on a world stage.
“The award is gratification for my work and it’s satisfying that people recognise that this is an important area of research.”
Professor McCulloch said giving students experiences in professional environments was critical to a successful transition into the workforce.
“The employment prospects are much stronger for students who have a good grounding in professional practice before they graduate,” he said.
“WIL is a major focus at USC and a practice-based work experience component is embedded in our programs.”
— Gen Kennedy