Unlocking the potential: transition and support for first year social inclusion students in a commerce faculty
The Australian Government established the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program in 2010 in order to 'address Australia's historically poor record of increasing the participation of people from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds in higher education'. The goal set by the government is for universities to increase the student intake from low SES backgrounds from 10-15% to 20% by 2020. To support universities across Australia the government provided financial grants to support universities achieve this goal. The Faculty of Commerce in the University of Wollongong, NSW received a grant in 2011 for its project titled: Unlocking the Potential: Transition and support for first year social inclusion students in the Faculty of Commerce. The overall purpose of the year-long project was to prepare the foundations for academic staff to confidently design, deliver and assess curriculum that will engage and support students from low SES backgrounds. This paper will discuss how the project was successfully incorporated into existing infrastructure within the Faculty. It will describe the action learning methodology (Turbill 2002) used to develop the 'transition pedagogy' (Kift 2009) of the cross disciplinary team. Further it will highlight the key outcomes that emerged from the social inclusion project.