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Aspire UC Schools Outreach Program

Aspire UC is the flagship outreach initiative of the University of Canberra. Aspire UC supports the educational aspirations of high school students, targeting those that are traditionally less likely to participate in higher education. Working with selected ACT and regional NSW schools, Aspire UC offers teachers, Careers Advisers, school leaders, families and communities opportunities to learn and grow alongside their young people.

Aspire UC Schools Outreach Programme

Aspire UC consists of three components.

Remote & Online Learning

We have developed a brand new range online programs and activities which can be delivered via remote learning, or in a classroom environment! Our main programs include:

  • 7 different online workshops to help students understand and navigate their options for engaging with University or TAFE after school.
  • A structured and fully supervised mentoring program connecting high school students with current UC students with similar backgrounds/interests, and
  • Drop-in Q&A sessions for students and parents who want to learn more about what it’s like to move away from home and study at UC

Get in touch with us to find out more.

In-School Activities

The in-school component introduces students to a range of options and benefits associated with higher education, without having to leave their school. Outreach Officers deliver a range of interactive activities across a range of themes. These are linked to the Australian curriculum and are designed with the needs of the students in mind.

Activities may focus on any of the following topics:

  • Identification of strengths and attributes
  • Goal setting
  • Future career pathways
  • Exploration of barriers and strategies to overcome these
  • Relevant study skills
  • Differences between high school and university.

On-Campus Activities

Campus experiences, such as UC 4 Yourself, provide students with the unique opportunity to explore a university campus. Students participate in a number of hands-on sessions whilst engaging with current students and support and academic staff. All schools participating in the Aspire UC Program are invited to participate in a UC Campus Experience, complementing the delivery of in-school activities.

Aspire UC is very excited to offer an engaging range of online modules to our partner schools to continue breaking down barriers to higher education.

Our Future Focus modules include videos, interactive activities and quizzes and can be undertaken independently, or in a classroom setting. The modules can be shared with parents who will then have better understanding of higher education and be better placed to support their children.

Future Focus offers three engaging programs:

  1. Raising Aspirations: students consider the questions of "Who Am I?", "What do I want?" and "How do I get there?"
  2. Study Skills: focused on helping students to further develop skills to succeed at school and university.
  3. Uni 101: follows the stories of real University of Canberra students to help give students an understanding of life as a university student.

This resource is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Education’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP)

The Future Focus Online Modules are offered free of charge.

The Story Ground project is an ongoing engagement, teaching and research initiative within the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, that brings together Indigenous story practices with the disciplines of creative writing and literature. Story Ground uses storying and writing to provide participants with opportunities to engage with contemporary and traditional Indigenous knowledge, cultural experience and creative practice.

The Story Ground Schools Outreach program aims to make tertiary study more visible and accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander college and high school students, and will connect staff and students to resources from UC’s offerings in Indigenous Studies, Cultural Heritage, Creative Writing and Literary Studies.

Story Ground activities include secondary student workshops on campus and online, TQI accredited professional learning for secondary staff, and a range of cultural consultation and support opportunities for schools. These activities allow both staff and students to engage with Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing through creative practice activities and supported cultural engagement.

Dr Paul Collis and Jen Crawford