Raising aspirations for higher education among students of remote schools through the delivery of targeted making career choices interventions

Year: 2019

Author: McCredie, Tessa, Ormsby, Gail, Browning, Karen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
Background



The Higher Education Partnerships and Participation Program (HEPPP) supports the government’s objective of ensuring that Australians from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the ability to study at TAFE or university get the opportunity to do so and succeed. Research indicates that there is a lack of evidence-based understanding surrounding the critical factors affecting remote students in making decisions to seek higher education. From 2014-2018, the University of Southern Queensland has recognised the importance of providing career development outreach as a means of supporting individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in higher education.



At the end of 2018, the University of Southern Queensland, Career’s and Employability team, conducted an evaluation of the five year span of interventions. Learnings from this evaluation enabled the team to streamline the tailored interventions for remote high schools in Southern and South Western Queensland. The Making Career Choices project continues to provide a range of outreach services, programs and resources to build the knowledge of the diverse range of pathways into higher education and support for individuals from a low socio economic background or remote communities.



Methods



A longitudinal study, utilising mixed methods, will explore the barriers to seeking higher education among regional and remote students. Through the use of individual interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires among target groups (students, parents, teachers and community leaders), the study aims to explore the determinants surrounding student confidence, enabling factors, self-efficacy, access and affordability influencing the uptake of higher education.



Conclusions



A report of the initial findings will be presented from ten remote school regions in south west Queensland.

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