During 2006, Charles Darwin University (CDU) enhanced the availability of programs to boost the literacy and numeracy skills of students studying 'trades' to the mutual benefit of the students and employers.
At the request of employers and other external stakeholders from 2007 such literacy and numeracy activities will be embedded in a range of vocational programs.
The University also aims to enhance its efforts to provide effective ‘transition’ and ‘support’ programs for those returning to study both through an effective range of enabling/foundation programs in various locations across the NT and designated study skills and other support programs for enrolled students.
Transitioning students effectively is the key to moving students along the certificate, diploma and degree pathways.
CDU LearnLink, growing out of the existing ‘pathways’ group in the Community and Access portfolio, aims to be a ‘one stop shop’ for all students seeking such transition support and will continue to include the Indigenous Academic Support Unit. This unit is being further strengthened to build on the successes of the last three years when Indigenous student numbers have grown significantly in both vocational and higher education.
CDU LearnLink will also be responsible for contract services currently run by the University transitioning immigrants into the learning environment such as the Adult Migrant English Program run for DIMA.
Staff currently involved in the delivery of study skills and other academic support/transition activities, including literacy and numeracy education, are being encouraged to express their preferred option for their future endeavours, after the drivers for the future and options were first canvassed on November 10, for one of the following:
- working directly with an academic unit delivery apprenticeship/trainee education focussed on a particular industry sector such as trades, tourism and hospitality, etc.
- working with the regional/remote lecturing staff delivering employment orientated training in communities
- joining the School of Education which is expanding its higher education effort in teaching English as a second language
- becoming part of the ‘LearnLink’ team responsible for all ‘transition’ and academic literacy activities.
Clearly, with this increased focus on effective learning pathways all CDU staff with on-going employment contracts who have contributed in some way to this field of endeavour in the past will have very important roles in the future.
Professor Helen Garnett