UNE and TAFE Partnership offers Aboriginal students a ‘first step’ to learning

Published 05 August 2013

IMG_0040A new partnership between UNE and TAFE has commenced with Aboriginal students enrolled at New England Institute’s Armidale Campus visiting the Oorala Aboriginal Centre and the University recently.
The Certificate III ‘Vocational and Study Pathways’ commenced last month and offers the students a ‘first step’ towards getting ready for university learning. Over one semester students will develop their communication, study and computer skills. They’ll also take subjects in team participation and workplace issues and strategies that they can use in their future careers.
Designed with content specifically relevant to Aboriginal people in their study and work environments, the course is a pathway into the TRACKS Tertiary Preparation Program offered by UNE’s Oorala Centre. It also meets the entry requirements of the Associate Degree in Policing Practice at Charles Sturt University (CSU).
This cross-sectorial partnership will enable a greater number of Aboriginal people in the New England region to consider university study. Students will benefit from the extra foundational learning at TAFE before completing their TRACKS academic preparation, in readiness for UNE degrees. Oorala has offered TRACKS for several years as an alternative entry program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
TAFE ‘Pathways’ students will have opportunities to get to know other UNE students and participate in regular experiences at UNE by visits to on campus lectures, tutorials, Dixson Library, SportUNE and taking part in events with students and the community. Through the ‘Pathways’ course students will gain confidence within the UNE environment and familiarise themselves with university expectations through their on campus experiences.
To start their UNE experience, a group of the TAFE ‘Pathways’ students went on a visit with Oorala’s TRACKS students to the ‘Simulation lab’ in the University’s School of Health and got together at Oorala for a BBQ. Sixteen students have enrolled this semester for the Pathways course.
[Caption: ‘Pathways’ students and their TAFE teacher with Oorala staff and UNE students from TRACKS, undergraduate and postgraduate programs.]