The P-TECH partnership program at Federation College has been designed to serve the needs of the local Ballarat community.
As a school within Federation University Australia, introducing a P-TECH styled learning program at Federation College provides an opportunity for young people who are seeking an education outside the traditional mainstream secondary school system to undertake an industry supported pathway to a diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree.
The Federation College P-TECH partnership program launched in February 2016, where students participating in the P-TECH program were exposed to a range of industry-supported learning experiences to extend their education beyond the classroom. This was just the beginning of an industry supported pathway for students to achieve a post-school qualification in an area of growing employment demand. This includes opportunities to engage in hands-on, project-based activities alongside industry mentors, both at school and in the workplace. These experiences will help students to better understand the relevance of their learning, to jobs and post-school pathways.
The initiative was enthusiastically received by students, parents and local stakeholders in its first year of operation, with 25 students enrolling in P-TECH in 2016. That number continuing to grow throughout the years.
During 2016, the program built students’ interest and skills in STEM and improved their understanding of the range of the STEM related education, training and employment pathways that are available. Students will be supported to develop the technical and personal skills they need to complete their studies and make a successful transition to further study or work.
In 2017, students undertaking the second year of the program pursued formal STEM training as part of a nationally recognised qualification, while also undertaking their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). Federation University Australia is an open-access university. The youth department is committed to providing education options for young people in the Ballarat region, with enrolments occurring in a ‘rolling’ fashion throughout the year.
Federation College and its industry partners are committed to the P-TECH model and are investing the resources needed to ensure the program flourishes and becomes an important educational option for young people in the region.