Personal and Professional Perceptions: Pre-University Pathway Programs, Pedagogy, and Praxis

Personal and Professional Perceptions: Pre-University Pathway Programs, Pedagogy, and Praxis

Donna M. Velliaris (Eynesbury Institute of Business and Technology, Australia) and Janine M. Pierce (University of South Australia, Australia)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0528-0.ch004


This chapter is focused on the Eynesbury Institute of Business and Technology's (EIBT) Diploma of Business pathway, as business-related programs are most common in the Australian pre-university Higher Education (HE) sector. EIBT's diplomas are deemed equivalent to the first-year of the corresponding Bachelor's degree at the partner university for ‘international' students who did not reach direct entry requirements due to their English language proficiency and/or previous academic results. While many sessional academic staff work cross-institutionally, there are few occasions for associating with fellow EIBT colleagues on a personal level and equally few to learn about the professional experiences that have contributed to their pathway teaching philosophy and/or pedagogical practice(s). The author-researchers decided to undertake a period of self-reflection and composed their own narratives to story the notable differences between teaching in a pathway school compared with mainstream university.
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Background And Literature Review

The Pre-University Pathway Model

“Navitas” is an Australian global education leader providing pre-university and university programs, corporate training services, creative media education, English language courses, migrant education, professional development, settlement services, and student recruitment. There are more than 80,000 students across a network of over 110 colleges and campuses in 27 countries (Navitas, 2014). The origin of the Navitas “pathway” model began with the establishment of the Perth Institute of Business and Technology (PIBT) in 1994. While the private sector had assumed a significant role in international education within Australia at that time, PIBT heralded a new era of pathway colleges and extended public-private relationships beyond that previously established.

In Australia, according to Shah and Lewis (2010), “Navitas contributes to more than 30 per cent of annual international student enrolments with more than [AUD] $60 million turnover for two year degrees with more than 2500 students each year in each partner university” (p. 85). Pedagogically, the model was predicated on the acceptance of students with lower academic entry requirements than for direct university entry. The model provided a “second chance” (Norton, 2013; Ross & Gray, 2005; Tyler & Lofstrom, 2009; Wheelahan, 2009) for students who did not gain direct entry to mainstream university by offering a personalised and supportive approach to teaching and learning than may be found in the first-year of a traditional university environment. In other words,

[t]o develop this social capital, programs generally provide a series of interventions that emphasize not only academic preparation, but the development of attitudes and beliefs about college that will result in a positive college [university] enrollment outcome. This model assumes that supplemental programs will improve student performance in school and will enable them to apply and be admitted to a college or university. (Gullatt & Jan, 2003, p. 5)

Pathways focus on the individual and the development of their independent learning, offering additional teaching time, early intervention strategies and a range of support systems. According to Levy (2007, p. 11), such systems are generally “culturally diverse”, “learner-friendly”, and “less politicised”.

This chapter is centred on the Eynesbury Institute of Business and Technology’s (EIBT) Diploma of Business pathway, as business-related programs are most common in the pre-university sector (Norton, 2013, p. 27). Shah and Lewis (2010, p. 85) asserted that more than 70% of students who enter Navitas to undertake a diploma are international and throughout this presentation, the term “international students” or “students” is specific to individuals enrolled in EIBT on temporary student visas and who are almost exclusively Non-English Speaking Background (NESB).

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