Q & A: Meet Vicki Tuchtan, Academic Director at Sage Institute of Massage

In this week’s post, we meet Vicki Tuchtan, head academician at Sage Institute of Massage. Deeply passionate about learning and how the human body functions, Vicki explains her role at Sage and how she became interested in the field of massage…

My qualifications are…both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in

Vicki Tuchtan, Academic Director at Sage Institute of Education

education, and currently I’m completing a PhD.

The official title of my role is… Academic Director of Sage Institute of Education

This means that… I oversee all the teaching at the Institute; manage teaching and learning processes involved in developing each individual course, ensure that lecturers have all the resources they need and make sure that there is a level of quality that is consistently delivered across all programmes.

In the course of a week my job involves me being in contact with a lot of people in the industry. Actually, I’m at the coalface of the entire educational system – from students, employers, professional associations and government officials. Anything to do with our courses and the way they are delivered comes to me. Firstly, I am in regular communication with ‘Industry’.  The term ‘Industry’ means, for example, communicating with people in the government sector; or liaising with employers and professional associations to make sure our courses at Sage are current and remain at the forefront of the industry.  It’s also my job to keep abreast of what is happening in our classrooms at Sage Institute of Education. I’m interested in knowing what our student completion rates are, how students are progressing with their studies, how trainers are performing in the classroom, and the employment rates of our graduates. I also monitor student, trainer and employer feedback and make improvements to our programs accordingly.

I work alongside… several teams: there’s the quality team who ensure our quality education delivery, the team of instructional designers who research, write and develop our courses, and the team of lecturers who deliver the products. I also work alongside managers and their lead lecturers in every course we offer.

Accelerated learning is… based on the theory of whole brain learning. Rather than conventional learning methods that rely on simply listening to the teacher or lecturer, accelerated learning uses all the senses that the brain registers for learning. So instead of just listening, we also embrace sight and movement, ensuring that every part of our being is stimulated to learn. This makes learning much more fun and frankly, easy to grasp. Consequently it takes people less time to learn new things, as the rate of learning is improved. Accelerated learning doesn’t mean that courses take less time to complete than other courses. With accelerated learning, we employ teaching techniques in the classroom and within our student materials that are specifically designed to cater for all learning styles – those who like to hear it, those who like to see it and those who like to do it! Such an approach significantly enhances the learning experience for all students.

When did you first gain an interest in the field of massage? Growing up, I was always a sporty kid – at an early age I was fascinated by the workings of the human body; bones, tissues, tendons, ligaments and how they functioned. I went on to complete an undergraduate degree in physical education, which formalised my teaching qualifications. I then qualified as a myotherapist working with sporting teams. I’m currently dong a Phd at the University of the Sunshine Coast looking at the vocational training sector in Australia and how it functions, specifically in relation to the qualifications that Sage delivers.

My love of academic studies comes from… the gift of learning – which issomething that my parents gave me as a young child.  They essentially introduced me to the joys that learning gives, along with a philosophy that learning is a lifelong process.

My favourite moment with Sage was… way back, possibly 10 years ago or more, with one of Sage’s early massage classes, we laid a vast canvas out on the floor, dipping our hands in brightly coloured paint, pressing them on the canvas; creating this spectacularly colourful tapestry of personal palm prints. Underneath our prints, we wrote our names on the canvas, individualising the process further. It’s something I’ll always remember. We still have this canvas today on campus, which is a legacy to those students and lecturers involved back then.

To me, the best thing about learning is… the joy of learning – realising that the more you learn, the less you know.

You’ll always find me…working! Work and learning for me is more a way of life than just a job.

At times when I’m not working… I have a love of interior design and construction, so you can often spot me checking out the latest designs at open houses, or flicking through the pages of Belle or Vogue Living on the iPad. Oh, and I never miss an episode of ‘The Block’ or ‘House Rules’!

On a Sunday morning, you’ll find me… at the beach!

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