- Charles Sturt University in Orange hosts more than 70 high school students from the Central West to help them explore their post-school options
- The ‘Future Directions Day’ event was attended by Year 9 students from Orange, Dubbo, and Cowra
- Students participated in a range of hands-on course-based workshops, including allied health, agricultural science, and pharmacy degrees
More than 70 Year 9 students from across the Central West had the opportunity to experience some of the post-school study options close to their own doorstep today.
Approximately 20 students from Canobolas Rural Technology High School, 20 from Cowra High School, 18 from Dubbo College Delroy Campus, and 14 from Dubbo College South Campus spent the day at Charles Sturt University in Orange for the ‘Future Directions Day’ hosted by Future Moves.
The event included a series of interactive workshops in pharmacy, allied health, and agricultural science that were designed to give Year 9 students a better understanding of university and the different courses on offer at Charles Sturt.
The students also toured the campus and had the opportunity to hear from current Charles Sturt students during the event’s question and answer session.
Future Moves Program Co-ordinator for the Central West region Mr Tom Griffiths said, “The Future Directions Day is specifically designed for Year 9 students to give them a fun and engaging learning experience on our University campuses.
“Research has shown that conducting activities and programs with school-aged students increases access and participation in tertiary education among traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, particularly in regional areas.
“That’s why in the Central West alone we partner with more than 40 schools to help provide students with a greater awareness of the opportunities that arise from pursuing university study.
“It was great to welcome some of our Central West students to our Orange campus today.
“We received some overwhelmingly positive feedback from the students during today’s event, and we often hear from teachers that they see a noticeable positive shift in attitude from their students towards the university experience as well as their own potential.”
Year 9 student Miss Sophie Wheatley from Dubbo South Campus said, “The event’s been a fun day with heaps of cool activities.”
She said she would definitely recommend other students take part in these types of events.
Careers Advisor and PE teacher Prue Williams from Cowra High School said she thinks the university exposure these events give to students is ‘priceless’.
“The ‘look, see, feel and being hands-on’ is really important for students to see what they might like to work towards, to raise their aspirations, and to help with their subject choices in their senior years,” she said.
“[After the event] the kids are more focused, they find more personal motivation to focus on their inner interests and what they want to do, and it gives school more relevance.”
Careers Advisor Renae Justice from Dubbo College Delroy Campus said the reason her school runs careers excursions to universities is to expose students to as many career options as possible.
“We want students to have options and to explore career pathways and expose them to as many options as we can so they can have informed choices,” she said.
“By coming to a university campus, it opens their eyes to other possibilities and helps them to stay on track with their studies and focus on working hard at school to make university possible.
“Besides career knowledge, they can apply what they have learnt at school to the real world and what they might be doing in the future.”
Learning Support Office at Canobolas High School Amy Wilson said events like these are important to raise students’ exposure to university and get them interested in what they want to do after school.
“It is really interactive, so they get to actually participate and try things rather than just see it and listen, which they do not engage in as much,” she said.
“The kids are loving it, they especially loved getting to take their blood pressure and seeing what their readings were and making the lip balms.”
The Future Direction Day has been run by Future Moves for nine years and has been held at all the University’s main campuses.
The next Future Direction Day will be held on Thursday 5 August at Charles Sturt in Bathurst.
More information about Future Moves and its events is available on the Future Moves website.
Future Moves is operated by Charles Sturt and aims to inspire school students and young people from regional and rural areas to consider further education as a post-school option.