Projects and Programs
All divisions of the University are actively involved with improving equity and accessibility in higher education. Below is a snapshot of projects in this field that have been carried out across numerous divisions, faculties and centres of the University of Newcastle.
The AIM High program within the Equity and Diversity Unit at the University of Newcastle seeks to challenge social exclusion by supporting positive change through education. The project is focused on supporting educational aspiration, attainment and access for students and families from low SES backgrounds.
The AIM High program works with 17 targeted low SES high schools and their partner primary schools to support early and direct intervention with young people and their families to increase their knowledge and understanding of their post school options.
A range of tertiary education experiences developed with the community are offered throughout the primary and secondary learning stages, delivered both on campus and in schools.
The Deadly Streaming program run through the Family Action Centre aims to enhance Indigenous children's academic performance and school attendance in urban communities by providing a family focused and culturally grounded mentoring and family support service during the later primary school years (5&6) and through a program designed to build peer support and cultural identity in the early high school transition years (7&8).
The program developed from the success of the former Deadly Dads project that enhanced the father's connection to culture, community and family as well as encouraging the children's sense of culture and community through school based activities.
Deadly Streaming is currently being carried out at two schools located in Raymond Terrace and is HEPPP funded until the end of 2014.
Contact Craig Hammond for more information.
The pilot program Uni4You was launched mid-2013 to intensively recruit students from vulnerable communities into the Open Foundation program. The program is currently targeting parents living in Raymond Terrace and Karuah following a community request.
The program is a joint initiative of the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre (ELFS), Aim High and the Family Action Centre (FAC). There will be an evaluation on whether this program has an impact on retention.
So far seventeen individuals from the two communities enrolled in Open Foundation in 2014 and are supported by the suite of activities offered through the Uni4You model. There are hopes funding will be extended to trial the program in other communities.
The Family Action Centre also participates in a range of ongoing community partnerships including parenting programs at Cessnock East Primary School funded through the NAB Schools First Award as well as the resilience workshops Drumbeat and Rock and Water.
Contact Vicki James for more information.
ELFS VIDEO PROJECTS
The English Language and Foundation Studies Centre (ELFS) is implementing a suite of 34 online videos for prospective and commencing students in its Foundation Studies programs. The videos will provide students with an overview of the programs, and describe each of the courses available across Newstep, Open Foundation and Yapug .
These resources will streamline information and manage expectations by explaining the skills and content covered in each course. The videos are designed to assist prospective and commencing students with making appropriate course selections, with hopes of improving retention and student progression.
The Centre hopes to have the videos ready before applications for the 2015 intake open in November 2014.
ACADEMIC SURVIVAL SKILLS ONLINE
Academic Survival Skills Online (ASSO) was introduced by the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre (ELFS) in early 2014 as an online course for commencing undergraduate and enabling students. It is designed to introduce students to studying at University and to important academic skills.
Students can access the site as many times as necessary to complete the nine modules that cover a range of topics, from tips on how to take lecture notes to essay writing and referencing. A UoN prep course in Chemistry is also being produced for release in February 2015.