Sancta is principally an academic community. Supporting and recognising academic achievement and success is a fundamental aim.
Sancta has developed a strong academic support program, known as The Edge, and offers a variety of cultural activities related to music, art, literature, and society, including Sancta Speaks.
One of Sancta’s Senior Tutors, Dr Jen Scott Curwood, leads a series of academic focus workshops that help build skills for Sancta’s students and give them the edge in goal setting, academic writing, referencing, professional networking, and more. The Edge includes Sancta’s academic mentor and academic tutorial program. Dr Curwood is a Senior Lecturer, English Education and Media Studies and Program Director of Study Abroad and General Electives in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. Clara Armstrong is Sancta’s Senior Tutor with responsibility for organising the tutorial program.
Sancta’s cultural secretaries organise a series of cultural events on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings that build students’ knowledge of music, art, literature, and society. These include a regular book club, guest talks on cultural topics, visits from scholars, and hands-on experiences.
At Sancta Sophia, students are encouraged to get involved in events and opportunities across the university and community.
Undergraduates have access to a wide-ranging tutorial program aimed at ensuring residents maximise their academic potential. The Sancta tutorial program is led by Senior Tutor, Clara Armstrong.
For postgraduates, the residents have developed a strong peer to peer support network where students can call on the expertise and experience of others who have established their credentials in particular areas.
Each year the College recognises academic excellence at the Academic Dinner. It is an auspicious annual event at which the College community recognises the academic excellence of College scholars of high achievement and a number of prizes are awarded.
Individual Academic Support
Students who are keen to keep on top of their studies throughout the year, become more organised and less stressed are always welcome to attend an individual session with the Vice Principal to create personalised study timetables and schedules. Individual support sessions and self-evaluations are provided to assist, motivate and give students direction on their academic endeavours. Strategies are imparted to enable students to optimise performance not just in their university pursuits but also for their future professional capacities. Many students are increasingly utilising this opportunity and giving positive feedback detailing how their marks are improving, stress is decreasing and their goals are being achieved.
Recent research indicates that one of the key factors differentiating residential from non-residential students is the support the former receive, especially academic support.
The College tutorial offering is at the core of academic life at Sancta. Undergraduates have access to a wide-ranging tutorial program, aimed at ensuring residents maximise their academic potential. In 2017, the College offers tutorials around 30 subjects ranging from Human Biology and Speech Disorders to Engineering and Music Theory. Furthermore, the College offered postgraduate tutorials in Pharmacology, Dentistry and Law. Students also benefit from the intercollege tutorial network, which allows them access to tutorials being held at other University of Sydney residential colleges. In student feedback, 73% stated that the tutorial program helped their knowledge and understanding of their course. The Sancta tutorial program is led by Senior Tutor, Patrick McManus, who resides at the College.
Peer support academic mentoring
A key aspect of the academic support program is academic mentoring. Academic mentoring takes the mutual academic support that exists within, and across, age groups at the College to a more formal level. The Vice Principal and Dr Scott Curwood work closely with students who have been selected to be Academic Mentors. These students provide academic support and mentorship to other students within their respective disciplines. As well as the peer to peer support, the Academic Mentoring for each faculty includes two events per year where alumni, faculty, residents and other professionals can network and interact.
A number of academic events are held at the College each year, to bring together current students, alumni, university faculty, and community leaders. Ranging from panel discussions, lectures, trivia nights and cocktail parties, these academic events offer Sancta students the chance to expand their disciplinary knowledge and enhance their professional connections.
Sancta Speaks is a series of talks that allows the Sancta community to hear about the compelling work and research of current students, presentations this year have ranged from aerospace engineering to educational technology.
The Sancta College community comprises students from Sydney or regional NSW, interstate and overseas – representing over 30 countries and more than 40 University courses. The College environment encourages networking with older students in the same or similar degrees and with postgraduate students who offer general and specific academic advice.