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Revolutionary US schools program launches in Tuggerah

Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, with support from the University of Newcastle, is the first school in New South Wales to deliver a revolutionary accelerated learning program developed in the United States.

The program – Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) uses peer led learning and ‘learning how to learn’ techniques which focus on equipping students to find answers for themselves.

Designed to help students achieve their academic potential and grow their aspiration for tertiary study, the program includes weekly tutorial sessions with current university students.

AVID aligns strongly with the University’s commitment to equity and excellence said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parfitt.

“Equity of access to higher education is a key focus for the University of Newcastle. Every student with the potential to go to university should be equipped with the skills and belief to get there.

“The AVID program reflects the University’s vision as exemplified through our AIM High program – to nurture the aspirations and capacity of more students in our local regions to enter and succeed at tertiary education,” said Professor Parfitt.

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Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College – Tumbi Umbi Campus Principal and 2013 Principal of the Year, Shayne Player, said University of Newcastle students play two important roles within the program.

“University students help guide tutorials but are also important role models, making tertiary study feel more accessible to our students,” said Ms Player.

The program targets students in ‘the middle’ and employs research based teaching techniques to create systemic reform and change.

“In the relatively short time we’ve been running the program we’ve seen impressive improvements – we’ve had one student move from the middle-bottom of their class to dux of the year,” said Ms Player.

The University’s highly successful equity focussed school outreach program, AIM High, is providing current students from a range of degrees to work as weekly AVID tutors across Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College’s campuses in Tumbi Umbi and Berkeley Vale.

As leaders in the equity of access to higher education, the University’s AIM High team connected with over 5,000 low socio-economic status primary and high school students in the Central Coast, Hunter and Mid-north Coast in 2013, providing hands-on higher education experiences in partnership with schools and their communities.

For more information about the AVID program, contact Daniel Garland on 61 2 4921 8966.

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