The ACU Life project team has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Staff Excellence Award for Excellence in Student Experience for launching and managing ACU’s co-curricular student engagement platform.
ACU Life is an online platform that allows students and staff to find ACU-affiliated clubs, organisations and groups and stay informed about campus events.
Manager Sales, Marketing and Communications Sarah Bakic and Program Manager, Co-curricular Payment Systems Radhika Gregory were the team behind the launch of ACU Life in 2020 and have continued to support the growth of the platform over the past two years.
A student-centred approach
Before ACU Life was introduced, feedback indicated that students found it difficult to navigate ACU’s co-curricular programs. ACU Life has provided a student-centred digital environment that allows students to easily access the information they need.
As Sarah explained, the launch of the platform in 2020 coincided with a COVID-19 lockdown.
“It was good timing in that sense because it gave students a place to go to register for online events and find information, given we couldn’t reach them directly on campus,” Sarah said.
An all-in-one solution
Before the launch of ACU Life, managing co-curricular clubs and activities was challenging, with different systems required to manage registrations, payments and communication.
By using ACU Life, ACU staff and student leaders, such as club managers, can coordinate everything from one platform.
Sarah said the ACU Life platform had streamlined the management of co-curricular activities and provided stakeholders with enhanced data.
“The feedback we have received from ACU clubs is that it’s given them the power to run their clubs, manage their memberships and take payments in a much simpler way.”
ACU Life has also facilitated the creation of a What’s On newsletter for each campus, which allows ACU to send students a tailored newsletter each month with details of events on their campus.
While the original scope of the platform was to support students and staff in three co-curricular areas (ACU Sport, Student Life and Campus Ministry), it has now expanded and is used by a growing number of areas across ACU.
These include ACU Events, Counselling, AGILE, Veteran Support, Indigenous Student Success Unit, Connect2Uni, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, and ACU International.
“We regularly receive requests from staff for training to use the platform, which has grown organically since we launched ACU Life,” Radhika said. “To me, that is a testament to the success of the platform.”
The team continues to look for opportunities to improve the platform and has introduced several enhancements over the past year, including launching the ACU Life mobile app.
Sarah Bakic and Radhika Gregory with Vice-Chancellor and President Zlatko Skrbis