University of Tasmania — Pathways to Success
The Pathways to Success program aimed to increase participation in higher education for Aboriginal and low SES students through initiatives enabling future students, families and communities to engage with career possibilities aligned with Tasmania’s industries of the future in food, advanced manufacturing, tourism and health.
The program delivered 83 cultural and regional initiatives, partnered with 55 Tasmanian schools and 134 industry/community partners and involved the participation of 8,366 Tasmanian students and adult learners. These were drawn from regions which included over 83 per cent of Tasmania’s communities living in disadvantaged circumstances and 87 per cent of Indigenous Tasmanians.
- 55 Tasmanian schools
- 134 industry and community partners.
The Pathways to Success program aimed to:
- inform, lift aspirations and increase understanding of the value of higher education
- increase participation in higher education through activities which inform and build aspiration, provide smooth transitions and enable targeted groups to engage with career possibilities aligned with future industries
- improve rates of transition to industry-relevant higher education courses.
- Sixteen core programs were piloted, mapped to the Australian curriculum, to assist teachers and students to develop links between the school curriculum, industry engagement and tertiary education in four Tasmanian Department of State Growth priority economic sectors: advanced manufacturing, food, health, and tourism.
Activities and Progress
The program offered a wide range of activities that included work in four broad program areas: What’s After High School; Look in at Jobs; Skills for Professionals; and the TasTAFE–UTAS awareness program.
Activities offered covered events linked to the four industry cluster areas and included: Tech Sense; Harbouring Careers; Farm to Feast; Healthy Futures; Your Future Tasmania; Industry Tours; Career Conversations; Designed by Me; Creating My Career; Cruise into a Career; and 24 Carrot Jobs. The various program foci and activities offered were guided by industry and education partners.
Extension of the Creating My Career initiative has continued in 2017. Working with the Department of Education My Education team, this program has been expanded from the 2016 model to run state-wide and will involve approximately 3,000 students across Burnie, Launceston and Hobart. This involves partnership between the University of Tasmania, TasTAFE and Rotary Tasmania and provides the opportunity for Year 8 and 9 students to explore 19 different career clusters. Professional development activities for Tasmanian educators are also being continued through partnership with My Education, providing teacher and career planners with ongoing information about university pathways and industry and career links.
The implementation of the Pathways to Success project exceeded its original objectives. In total, 83 programs and initiatives were delivered, tailored to the student lifecycle from aspiration formation to further education and career pathways. Of these, 16 were core, fully-piloted curriculum-mapped programs.
More than 8,300 students and adult learners, including Aboriginal Tasmanians, participated in program events and activities. Over 1,900 participating students, teachers, career advisors, schools and organisational stakeholders contributed to program evaluation. One of the greatest strengths were the project partnerships; 55 schools and 134 industries and organisations were engaged across Tasmania. Stakeholders were overwhelmingly positive about their involvement and links have continued with partners.
In late 2016, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) appointed its first Pro Vice-Chancellor (Schools Engagement). The position seeks to implement a more strategic, coordinated and meaningful engagement with Tasmanian schools and further education providers to encourage participation in, and articulation to, higher education.
A new Schools Engagement Strategy has been approved following extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders. The strategy draws on learnings from Pathways to Success and in particular the development of coordination in activities, internally and externally, and the importance of evaluation in informing future developments.
A significant outcome of this program was the need to continue involvement in, and development of, aspiration informing and transition programs and initiatives modelled on successful programs within Pathways to Success. Project outcomes, partnerships and ongoing initiatives of Pathways to Success are taken forward in the strategy’s strategic themes of aspirations, building pathways and supporting transition
to tertiary education.
This case study was one of 35 featured in the NCSEHE’s 2017 publication Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program: Seven Years On.