The ACOM Difference

For 20 years ACOM has been a leader in innovative and flexible online learning.
Our approach is holistic: developing head, heart and hands to engage students in a truly life-changing experience.
We strive to produce graduates who are well prepared- not only smart enough to understand their world, but also skilled enough to shape their world.


FORMATION

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.- ROMANS 12 : 2 (NLT)
For ACOM, the learning process is not simply intellectual – it is about spiritual transformation. We care about who you are becoming and here’s why: we know that healthy, sustainable and effective graduates will be well grounded spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially.
We want you to be successful for the long haul, and we know that students who have performed the challenging inner work in spiritual formation are more likely to adapt, survive and thrive when things in life go wrong.

Personal disasters can be faith forming or faith destroying – in our experience, what makes the difference is your connection to God found through deep spiritual formation. To lead spiritual transformation, leaders must first be transformed themselves.
We don’t just run classes on formation, we help each student explore their own personal journey of self-awareness, social development, spiritual understanding and faith surrender. This process is a transformational journey – going deep to be released for personal mission. To engage in spiritual formation is to commit to the journey of becoming deeply faithful, spiritually minded, self-aware and resilient.

For over 20 years, ACOM has embedded action and reflection into all its learning programmes.
We recognise your place of work or ministry is a living laboratory and our courses help you integrate theory and practice, in your place of choice – making your learning experience relevant, exciting and meaningful.

ACOM courses create a learning context in which students take action in the field, which they then follow with personal reflection, enabling them to:

/ be stretched through the surprise of new experiences

/ identify and challenge assumptions, values and beliefs that are the basis for your feeling, thoughts and actions

/ learn to suspend judgment, listen, empathise and navigate complex relational situations

/ make sense of their practical situation through the lenses of theological, spiritual and biblical insight

/ understand their own strengths and weaknesses

/ integrate theory and practice to build the real-world skills necessary to thrive in ministry and mission

/ learn the skills of experimentation, inquiry and critical thinking to apply knowledge to improve self, work, ministry and / or mission

As a student, you will encounter Instruction-Action-Reflection throughout your entire course. In assignments, students integrate theory into their own place of ministry or work. In projects, students choose from topics that directly relate to their work or ministry priorities.
In research, students choose to make a contribution to theory and practice, producing useful outcomes that apply to their own development needs, areas of interest, or the needs of their ministry or workplace.

At ACOM we invest in the development of the whole person.
You are more than what you know or can do.


work integrated learning

Work Integrated Learning ensures the theoretical knowledge you are acquiring is being grounded in real-world practice. Students acquire the practical skills that make them employable, while earning credit for their degree through work placement, internships or volunteer projects.


Our World Class Learning Systems

We ensure our students are provided with high quality and digitally rich learning resources.

ACOM students and staff live in a rapidly changing digital world and are accustomed to searching, connecting and discovering online.
However, learning is an inherently human, rather than technical process. Learning requires humans to be curious, to communicate, to interact, to test, to argue, to define, to hope and to improve.
With 20 years of experience in distance learning, we are now an industry leader in engaging digital technologies to deliver highly engaging, personalised, and powerful learning experiences for students through digital technology, while still ensuring we foster the human experience of learning.

ACOM’s digital technology supports an integrated-learning lifestyle through which students are able to access what they need on demand and across multiple devices, while enabling and supporting their interaction with work and family.
We ensure our students are provided with high-quality and digitally rich learning resources. Students can self-regulate their learning with greater opportunities to tailor their pace of progress, with access from anywhere and from any device to the learning environment.

To ensure we offer highly engaging course materials, ACOM also has a digital library of over 20,000 books and more than 800 journals. ACOM caters to the research needs of students wherever they are located.
Our digital resources ensure that students are able to experience deeper engagement through research projects emphasising their ministry situation, and blending theory, action and reflection to produce deep learning that is academically rigorous as well as practice oriented.
At ACOM, we recognise that our students’ place of ministry or work is a living laboratory offering an opportunity for in-depth on-the-job learning. We combine theory and practice in a learning adventure tailored to develop students’ intellectual knowledge, practical skills and spiritual awareness.

MOODLE /

The cornerstone of ACOM’s learning system is Moodle – Moodle is a customised learning management system integrated with powerful Blackboard technology and this is where you will spend the majority of your online learning.
Moodle provides the infrastructure that delivers and manages our content, forums and assessment tasks. Moodle is wonderfully intuitive to use and can be used across different devices such as laptops and mobile phones.
A student’s study materials are never more than an internet connection away, allowing our students to study on the go.


EBSCO /

ACOM is continuously improving its digital library of learning resources. We have thousands of specialist books, articles and journals available to our students through our copyright licensing arrangements. Useful for both research and personal study, our students have access to over 20,000 e-books and more than 800 journals in Bible, leadership, pastoral care and theology. Materials can be accessed on any device, at any time through a comprehensive search engine ensuring you can find what you are looking for when you need it.


GRAMMARLY /

Grammarly is an online program made available to all ACOM students. Grammarly checks for grammatical mistakes, contextual spelling problems, vocabulary issues, and plagiarism, allowing students to optimise their academic writing. More than just a spell checker, Grammarly categorises all grammatical errors, ensuring they are clearly displayed, and organised for the student’s review and revision. The Grammarly online grammar-check application is not only good for discovering what to fix in your writing, but also for helping you learn how to improve your skills. Grammarly is a particularly helpful tool for students for whom English is a second language.


COLLABORATE ULTRA /

Collaborate is a browser-based web-conferencing solution that makes distance teaching and learning simple, crystal clear, and worry free.
Through Collaborate, facilitators and students can engage face-to-face via an intuitive online platform. Speedy launching and simple deployment mean educators and students can focus on teaching and learning. Participation is possible anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Collaborate is designed to work even when bandwidth is low and can host up to 25 participants at a time. Thanks to Collaborate, you will be able to put a face to the voice of other students, markers, faculty and staff.



HERE’S WHAT’S INVOLVED …

Here’s a snapshot overview of what you need to know as you enter your studies with ACOM. We’re sure there’ll be questions along the way, however it’s good to start somewhere. Let us know if you have something you require answered.

COST OF STUDY

Students can pay their fees up front or access the Australian Government’s FeeHelp system. FeeHelp is a Commonwealth loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay all or part of their higher education fees. FeeHelp can be used for all ACOM qualifications except the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation.
For approximate costs, see specific awards from page 18 onwards.


STUDY OPTIONS

Students can study part time or full time. ACOM operates on a trimester basis, with formation units being taken over the course of the full year.
A full-time load is considered to be six to nine units, which is usually two to three units per trimester with one year-long unit. A part-time load is usually two to three units per year.


TEXT BOOKS AND LIBRARY

Required readings are provided for students with online library access for further research.
Some units may require the purchase of a textbook which will be indicated on our website.


DEMAND HOURS

Each unit at ACOM has 143 demand hours. These are the number of hours that we expect you will need to complete the unit. The nominal hours are broken up as follows:

Online readings and study sessions – 41 hours
Assignments – 51 hours
Student Ministry Placement – 30 hours
Face to Face Learning or equivalent – 21 hours

For each unit we recommend that you have the margin in your average week to spend approximately 10 hours studying (with more required during peak assessment periods).

ASSESSMENTS

ACOM assessments are essay based and do not usually involve exams. Units may also include online quizzes and practical assessments that are completed in your ministry setting.
Essays and assignment dates are clearly published in Moodle and all tasks must be submitted to pass the unit.


COMPUTER REQUIREMENTS

To study with ACOM, you will require access to a computer with internet connection. You will also require an email address that we can use to contact you.
For assessment writing, we require the use of a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word.


SUPERVISOR

All ACOM units have an integrated learning component. This is where you integrate what you are learning into your ministry environment, students will be required to identify a supervisor in their ministry environment (this might be a church, school, chaplaincy or welfare organisation).
The supervisor will assist you to reflect on your learning. Postgraduate and cohort students can work with an ACOM supervisor in their action-reflection learning.


Student Ministry Placement

We want our students to be doers not just hearers. Our integrated learning activities link your academic work into your practice through a process of instruction (online readings, face to face facilitations and other learning activities) action (localised ministry) and reflection (thinking about the practice to understand how to improve it).
The process of instruction-action-reflection continues across all of our units.