Case studies: Alcohol and Other Drugs

These electives were offered in semester one and two 2010 to full classes capped at 25 students per semester. This is the third time these electives have been offered to degree students in the areas of youth work, social work, psychology and criminal justice administration.

The course provides students with a basic introduction to the services and approaches to working with clients with alcohol and other drugs issues. It involves undertaking a comprehensive assessment of client needs, developing case plans and referrals as required.

These electives allow students who intend to work in a health, social or behavioural science professional capacity within Victoria to achieve minimum qualification standards. The electives thus enhance employment opportunities for RMIT students as well as allowing them practical insights into working with clients with particular needs and issues.

These electives are built around guided class discussions, simulations and case studies. Client scenarios are used to develop practical skills. Feedback from CEQs has been extremely positive and class enrolments have been strong for both electives since they were introduced.

Comments from students in 2010:

As part of my undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration, I undertook two cross-sector skills electives. I undertook both electives in order to gain invaluable workplace skills that were not offered throughout other courses undertaken within my degree. These skills were practical that I could easily understand how they would be utilized in my future career. It was not hard to become enrolled in these electives. Enrolling in cross-sector skill electives was exactly the same as enrolling in any other elective. Through these skill electives I learnt important practical skills including interviewing techniques, methods to diffuse conflict and how to work with interpreters. I was also faced with many fictional case studies where I was able to learn the necessary skills in risk evaluation. These courses also taught me invaluable report skills used within the criminal justice sector including the format for pre sentence reports, client service plans and the Victorian offender needs indicator (VONIY). I would definitely recommend these cross-sector skills electives to other students. Without undertaking such courses I feel that many necessary skills would not be learnt, especially if the student has any aspirations to work within Community Corrections or Youth Justice. I believe that these courses have significantly assisted with my employment. I am now employed at the Magistrates Court of Victoria and skills learnt in these courses are used in my everyday work.

- Student, Bachelor of Arts (Criminal Justice)