The Cross Sector Skills Elective
Students can obtain a set of specific vocational competencies via their higher education electives. VET competencies are service taught into the higher education electives by VET staff, and students subsequently receive RPL for competencies attained. The aim of this model is not necessarily to provide students with a VET qualification but to give them specific vocational competencies relevant to their profession (eg. design skills, communication, and enterprise development). However, a VET qualification may also be the outcome.
Key characteristics of the cross sector skills elective are:
- VET component service taught into HE program by TAFE schools
- Students enrol in HE qualification and complete VET competencies as part of their electives
- Students gain recognition for the VET competencies by enrolling in the VET qualification subsequent to completing the elective, and are given a statement of attainment for competencies achieved
- Students gain a ‘bundled’ set of VET competencies with the option of completing the full qualification on either a RPL or additional study basis
- Electives can be offered in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs
Cross sector elective model for Bachelor degrees:
Integrated or Embedded Dual Awards
Students gain two qualifications – one VET and one HE –by undertaking VET competencies as part of their HE programs.
This saves students time by allowing them to complete two qualifications over a shorter time than if they studied each qualification in turn. In cases where the VET qualification does not fit into the HE electives, students may complete the VET qualification on a fee-for-service basis.
Integrated dual award model:
Key characteristics of integrated dual awards:
- Concurrent – students may enrol in two qualifications at the same time
- Completed over a shorter duration than ‘end-to-end’ would allow
- VET competencies are undertaken through the HE electives
- Opportunities for course content mapping between VET and HE qualifications in cognate disciplines leading to integrated course architecture
- Where VET competencies do not add up to a complete VET qualification additional gap training can be offered.
Where a dual qualification contains cognate disciplines, there is the opportunity to integrate the curriculum – with associated resource savings. For example, in the dual qualification Bachelor of Criminal Justice Administration and Certificate IV Alcohol and Other Drugs, VET competencies can be mapped to the degree courses.
Recognition of prior learning
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) has been defined as “recognition of competencies (skills and knowledge) currently held, regardless of how, when or where the learning occurred. Under the AQTF, competencies may be attained in a number of ways. This includes through any combination of formal or informal training and education, or general life experience.” (ANTA 2001) RMIT staff can administer RPL to successfully:
- Aid the further development and effective delivery of dual sector programs. The integration of higher education and VET components will require staff to recognise and implement cross-sectoral credit transfer arrangements. Ideally, when a program or course is developed in higher education, it should be mapped against VET competencies to enable ready recognition across sectors of its components. The same should apply for VET modules.
- Facilitate pathways between VET and higher education, with appropriate credit transfer arrangements.
- Facilitate pathways into learning and between learning and work; particularly for young people and older workers who are disengaged from formal learning and/or employment.
- Contribute to, and capitalise on, the effectiveness of the Victorian Government’s ‘skills stores’ – public access points for the education and training system to facilitate access and recruitment.