Learning and Teaching Investment Fund 2011

Summary of projects

Project title

Extension studies feasibility study

Project leaders

Dr Audrey Tam, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, College of Science, Engineering and Health

Project team

  • Consultant: Sheila Howell
  • SCSIT School Manager: Adriana del Mastro
  • SCSIT Marketing, Communications: Robert Este, Daniel Walder

Project summary

Extension studies (now called Higher Education studies by VCAA – Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority) offer high-achieving Year-12 students the opportunity to enrol in first-year university courses. The offered courses should challenge these students but must be within their capabilities. If these courses are part of an undergraduate degree that the student subsequently undertakes, the student may obtain advanced standing in that program. Secondary schools in areas with a high concentration of low-SES students may lack adequate resources for teaching Information Technology; extension studies would give their high-achieving Year-12 students access to RMIT’s teaching staff, equipment, and infrastructure, at RMIT’s central urban locations. Thus, extension studies in appropriate courses, targeted at suitable schools, could attract high-achieving low-SES students into RMIT’s programs. The School conducted a feasibility study to identify suitable schools and appropriate courses, estimate demand, and determine efficient processes for developing effective relationships with target schools. These processes, the list of schools, and the project’s methodology are available to other RMIT Schools that wish to offer extension studies. VCAA accepted Programming 1 and Web Programming into the HE Studies program. These courses were publicised on the VCAA web site and via email to SNAP schools. SCSIT received 11 applications and made offers to 6 applicants. 5 applicants accepted: 3 are from SNAP schools, and 1 non-SNAP student lives in a low-SES area. SCSIT is implementing processes for enrolling these students and reporting their results to VCAA. Also, SCSIT needs to better communicate to secondary schools, that good results in mathematics units is a better predictor of success than good results in IT units.

Outcomes

  • The School conducted a feasibility study to identify suitable schools and appropriate courses, estimate demand, and determine efficient processes for developing effective relationships with target schools. These processes, the list of schools, and the project’s methodology are available to other RMIT Schools that wish to offer higher education studies.
  • VCAA accepted Programming 1 and Web Programming into the HE Studies program. These courses were publicised on the VCAA web site and via email to SNAP schools.
  • SCSIT received 11 applications and made offers to 6 applications, 5 applicants accepted: 3 are from SNAP schools, and 1 non-SNAP student lives in a low-SES area.

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