Research Seminar: Help! I’m starting tertiary study – now what? with Allyson Duschke

Students enrolling in vocational education frequently come from backgrounds that have not been well served by formal education.

This can make commencing study a challenge, with greater independent learning expectations and quite different delivery methods than many may have experienced in school. Frequently we hear of what the institution is doing, but who is talking directly to the students about their needs when embarking on a new course of study? What do they need to be successful, when do they need it, and who might be in the best position to provide this support?

Entering into a 3-year study of following Vocational Education students over the course of their Early Childhood studies, this PhD research project focuses on the impact of the training organisation in providing appropriate support to meet student need and encouraging them to persist and achieve through their current course. It is anticipated that as their beliefs in their own self-efficacy develop and their self-confidence increases, these students will not only be successful in their Certificate III studies, but will continue onto the Diploma of Early Childhood, employment in the early childhood field, and even studying the Bachelor of Early Childhood.

Every journey begins with the first step, and for many of these students, the first step can be very large and frightening. So how have they been supported to take that first step into study? This presentation shares some initial findings of the student’s views of strategies which have been put in place to support these ‘baby steps’, to encourage these new students to be able to step out independently into the world which is vocational education. Has their transition been supported, and what could be more effective?

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