Hopes and Fears

In tune with the theme of the previous post of nothing staying the same – I am approaching Building Pathways to Academic Success and the new academic year with some trepidation.

I can never leave anything to run the same – always have to tweak and experiment. So sometimes the balls in the air hit the ground. I don’t have any disasters to report yet but am in a state of high anxiety. Pathways is a programme started by my predecessors in the job. By all accounts they were both brilliant at it, the job and running Pathways. What it is is a programme run in tandem with Orientation that gives newly enrolled students a bit of a heads up for the new experience. It specially targets those with a low OPs (school leaving score) and the previous stats show that those students who attend Pathways do significantly better than those who don’t.

I have introduced some good stuff but have made other choices that have brought some criticism down on me and the stats for 2010 do not look as good as previous years. Oh Dear. Of course there are differentials that might give me comfort but hard to find it right now.

Perhaps my feelings are a bit affected by what I sense as a bit of an air of desperation in our sector… Government funding had become generous under Labour but they are now in a slightly tenuous position and propose to cut funding to one of the best structures set up to promote learning and teaching in HE the ALTC – to re-direct money to post-flood reconstruction. Hope this is not a taste of things to come. Smaller Regional universities are always going to feel nervous about funding as there is this tension between the government’s goal of boosting numbers of graduate percentages in the population and the difficulties of recruiting and graduating grossly underprepared and marginalised school-leavers as well as those who have been away from study for some time. With support such students generally do pretty well but intensive support costs serious money!

At my place many of the academics are very serious about their teaching and look for ways in which they can achieve the best learning in their students and that is exciting to me. We work collegially. I have been feeling more of that sort of mutual respect recently. Learning support separate from the lecture rooms and tutes is always going to be seen as a bit like First Aid I suppose so I am always happy when I am invited to run academic skills workshops in the actual courses. Not that I am dissing the sort of one on one support I provide for students in need… not at all. that has its own place and value but I am reminded of my choice made 30 plus yers ago in South Africa to work in the public sector – reach more learners that way and then the move into teacher education, reach even more that way – so big irony now to have the bulk of my time spent in one on one support!!!

Enough of this – heading for church now – can’t go on Sunday!


About retrocentricaussie

We are a pair of ageing 'gypsies' who find junk and sell antiques, especially objects from the art nouveau/art deco years and old and well-loved tools. We also occasionally buy antiques as well!! We haunt clearance sales, garage sales, charity shops and sometimes dumps. Lately we have even been to a 'proper' auction. The thrill is in the chase for good stuff at prices we can afford and still sell the items on at a profit sufficient to support us. We recycle what other people don't want anymore, we find new homes for nice things. We sell at markets and antique fairs, swap meets and wherever else we can find. Our clientele are mostly ordinary people who want something they can afford that will enhance their quality of life. We are especially pleased when generation Y buy from us. It suggests that appreciation of quality and good design is still part of our modern aesthetic.
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4 Responses to Hopes and Fears

  1. Daniel Comyn says:

    I am so glad that I have found the time to catch up with your lives and read your Posts
    I am hoping that Ruth and your Sus will come and visit.
    I know that Canberra is a helluva long way away but the week-end market fairs seem to do very well here. When I am up and about the house you
    come down and stay with us as I will be able to carry the domestic load.Being stuck in a wheel chair is very limiting especially to help guests let alone onself you will understand.We don’t have much space maar maak ‘n plan! You can use my bakkie to get around and move your wares.I also have a trailor that needs exercise etc., Much love,Danny

  2. Good to read your newsy updates, even if there are trials and tribulations to be faced. You’ve always been a strong, feisty, courageous woman – you’ll weather it all, and make a go of it! Lots of love, Glen

    • Thanks dear for your kind and encouraging words. Age also makes one more aware of vulnerability and aware of weakness but as you say not of lack of courage. sometimes think though that it is more about not thinking enough ahead. probably just as well!


      retrocentric aussie Alan and Lynette Sinclair We Buy and Sell +61 7 33895842 +61 431220334

  3. Henk Huijser says:

    In what way were the stats down? And what changes do you think this is down to? My experience tells me that you were running Pathways very well, so I think there may be other factors at play beyond your control. Don’t beat yourself up over this. I know you can run a program that has huge benefits for the students involved.

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