Local academic, Ingrid Harrington, has been recognised by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders for her work in the field of education. The Associate Professor has been awarded the William Walker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership by ACEL in recognition for her work teaching students at the University of New England.
The ACEL Leadership Awards are available to educators who have demonstrated excellence in leading educational organisations or initiatives that have made contributions to either outcomes for students or teachers’ professional learning.
Associate Professor Harrington has worked at UNE for 20 years and has won multiple awards across her career thus far. She specialises in classroom behaviour management, inclusive education practices and educational psychology.
When commenting on her approaches to her career she says, “I model my education philosophy of ‘never stop learning’.”
Not only does she work with aspiring teachers as they study towards their degrees, but she also maintains a positive influence upon fellow academic and professional staff within the university itself.
“I encourage academic and professional staff across UNE to re-visit the ways they deliver education and incorporate effective inclusive strategies” she says.
Associate Professor Harrington is perhaps most well-known on campus for her introduction of the Commencing Student Success Program (CSSP).
“This was my vision in 2019 to assist many of the disengaged first year students at UNE’s School of Education”, she says, “I built the program to be underpinned by 14 evidence-based retention strategies.”
“Recognising the diversity of students that UNE attracts, the tertiary education experience needs to be inclusive, supportive, flexible and understanding of student needs, and prioritise student success by putting students first.”
The program placed a huge emphasis on improved student relationships with their Unit Coordinator to allow a more positive flow of communication.
“Since the introduction of the CSSP across School of Education units there has been an increase in successful School of Education Level unit completions across a number of units,” says Associate Professor Harrington.
CSSP has reportedly been met with excellent feedback from students with comments on improved success, engagement and feelings of respect all reported on by participants.
Associate Professor Harrington remains driven and committed in her pursuit of excellence in education saying, “I am driven by the want to support those in need and improve the quality of tertiary experience for both student and academic.”