Funding to enhance university collaboration

An innovative program that’s already helping to address the teaching shortage in regional NSW has received a much-needed boost from the NSW Government.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said Charles Sturt University (CSU), along with TAFE NSW and Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana, is one of four partnerships to receive a share of the $1.75 million NSW Government Collaboration and Innovation Fund for its project, Collaborative Teachers Aide Pathway.

“These grants will help break down barriers that impact people in our community who want to study at our world class universities,” Mr Saunders said.

“The Teachers Aide Pathway project aims to upskill teachers’ aides currently employed in NSW schools to become qualified teachers in regional communities.

“This is just one of the ways the NSW Government is investing in our existing regional education workforce, and I commend CSU, TAFE NSW and RDA Orana on the initiative they have taken in this space.”

Collaborative Teachers Aide Pathway helps address known barriers to student success, including costs involved with placements, supporting students’ enrolment and transition into study, ongoing academic and retention support and further research around retention and pathway success.

The program turns a four-year pathway into a three-year pathway for most, which not only cuts down the time and costs involved in study, but helps our dedicated teachers’ aides to be employed as classroom teachers sooner.

CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon said the Collaborative Teacher’s Aide Pathway is providing an immediate response to the teacher shortage currently gripping Australia’s education system.

“Charles Sturt is proud of its record of producing high-quality teaching graduates that meet the educational needs of Australian school students,” Professor Leon said.

“In recent years, the University has graduated more than 900 teachers per year into the education workforce. Under this program and at a time when teachers are desperately needed, that number will only grow.”

Senior Lecturer with the CSU School of Education, Dr Libbey Murray, said enrolments had surpassed all expectations, with 145 students already enrolled and a 90 per cent retention rate.

“Our first semester cohort have done extremely well in their studies so far with many achieving distinctions and high distinctions in their subjects,” Dr Murray said.

“Some schools have multiple teachers’ aides enrolled who are supporting each other through the course, which is great to see.

“This grant will be instrumental in supporting students to complete their studies, while maintaining the critical work they already do in schools, and juggling personal and family lives.”

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