National recognition for CSU Transitions Director
24 NOVEMBER 2009
A decade of solid work on an innovative Charles Sturt University (CSU) program to help students cope with the transition to university study culminates today in the presentation of a prestigious award to the program’s director
A decade of solid work on an innovative Charles Sturt University (CSU) program to help students cope with the transition to university study culminated earlier this week in the presentation of a prestigious award to the program’s director.
Ms Liz Smith was last month named the winner of an award from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). As the University’s Transitions Director, Ms Smith earned her accolade for STUDY LINK - Preparation for University Study. It was one of 12 programs from around Australia that each secured a $25,000 ALTC Award for university teaching.
Her award was based on STUDY LINK’s sustained commitment to, and success in, supporting students in their first year of university study. More than 24,000 enrolments in the program have been registered since it was introduced more than a decade ago. The program offers flexible, blended learning, such as through online, face-to-face or print materials. This flexiblity means that distance education students, for example, can prepare for the study environment via distance delivery.
CSU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ian Goulter said the award-winning program was continuing to attract national attention for its innovative approach, even in its 10th year.
“The University acknowleges that while securing a place in a degree program is a significant achievement, it takes real effort over time to graduate. In particular, the first year of university can be a real challenge for some students, so we focused our support on that year,” he said.
“Charles Sturt University has continuously and rigorously evaluated the program and last year commissioned an external study – completed by a Monash University academic – which concluded it had a ‘positive effect on student attrition rates’ and was an important benchmark for the higher education sector in first year experience programs.”
Ms Smith said she was “thrilled” to receive the award.
“We’re keen to ensure our students experience university life in a way that helps them develop superb skills and relevant experience to find a meaningful and valuable place in society. The STUDY LINK program is an important cog in that process.”
Ms Smith also won an ALTC citation for outstanding contribution to student learning in the first year experience category just two months ago. Ms Smith was distinguished last year, too, having received the 2008 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning.
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