Student-centred pathway design
Students need to be at the centre of pathway design. Each successful pathways pilot developed through the NSW Tertiary Pathways Project has been designed with the needs of the cohort in mind. Ensuring that the pathway meets students’ needs has implications for delivery mode, course structure, affordability and the kinds of student support offered. Getting these factors right is key to their success in the pathway.
Construction management higher apprenticeship
For example, in response to student feedback the Master Builders Association (MBA) altered the delivery of the diploma component of the construction management higher apprenticeship. The course was initially delivered one evening per week, but students reported that the long evening of study was too tiring after a full day on site. The training is now delivered over two shorter sessions each week, with more online learning incorporated to cut down student travel time. Cost is a similar consideration for this cohort. The MBA has found that the ability to enter directly into the second year of a university degree and earn while they learn was a key attraction for their students.
Aged care tertiary pathway
The aged care pathway cohort required different considerations. The majority of students enrolled in this course are women over 40 who are juggling family responsibilities with their work in the aged care sector. In recognition of the students’ time constraints, the university chose to deliver the majority of the course content online. However, as using technology was a challenge for many of the students, additional support was required to ensure that students had the IT skills they needed to succeed.