Unique program provides pathway to university

Four adults have successfully completed the Uni4You program and will commence the University of Newcastle‘s enabling program, Open Foundation, in 2015.

Jasmine Pitt hopes to commence a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and said she would not have arrived at this point without the support offered through Uni4You.

“I’m really glad I was included in the Uni4You program because I think that’s definitely what helped me get through. I nearly gave up twice but the Project Coordinator encouraged me to keep going, which I’m very grateful for as I’ve now made it to the end,” explained Jasmine.

Uni4You was established in 2013 with the Australian Government Department of Social Services, Communities for Children funding and is facilitated by UON partner The Smith Family to provide extensive support to marginalised adults in the communities of Raymond Terrace and Karuah.

Participants receive pre-enrolment study and free  information sessions, along with childcare where necessary, that will help transition into UON’s Open Foundation program.

Program Coordinator Vicki James says Uni4You uses the extensive outreach experience of the Family Action Centre to support adults who have never identified tertiary study as an option or have previously attempted but not succeeded due to socio-environmental factors.

Uni4You came about due to demand from community members who had a desire to go to university but needed additional assistance to help prepare and support them through the process,” Vicki said.

“A lot of these participants are juggling family, work and other personal commitments. They all experienced setbacks this year but it has been so inspiring to see them persevere and their success is what makes Uni4You so worthwhile,” Vicki added.

There are hopes funding for Uni4You will be extended to trial the program in other communities.

UON’s Family Action Centre participates in a range of ongoing community partnerships including parenting programs at Cessnock East Primary School funded through the NAB Schools First Award as well as the resilience workshops Drumbeat and Rock and Water.


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