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Chalking up educational aspiration in Geraldton

Published:10 October 2019

Associate Professor Angelina Ambrosetti, Professor Bill Blayney and GUC director Natalie Nelmes.

Pre-service teaching students have become role models for other young people in the Geraldton community, demonstrating that educational aspirations are an achievable reality.

That's one of the key findings of a new research report on the Geraldton Universities Centre (GUC) by CQUniversity academics, Associate Professor Angelina Ambrosetti, Professor Bobby Harreveld, Professor Bill Blayney and Dr Gillian Busch.

The GUC was the first community-initiated study hub in Australia and uses a unique model to deliver higher education to the Mid- West region in Western Australia. CQUniversity has been in partnership with the GUC to deliver initial teacher education since 2012.

The report focused on the impact of the delivery of an Initial Teacher Education program on the Geraldton community.

"We identified several key findings, including that the GUC is graduating teachers from the community for the community," says Associate Professor Ambrosetti.

"Graduates are teachers who understand the uniqueness of the region and its people.

"Secondly, the support structures that are embedded within the Geraldton Universities Centre model enable students to succeed more so than if they were studying via the traditional distance model.

"Thirdly, the professional capability within the localised schooling/educational sector has increased in that experienced teachers are being provided with professional opportunities to increase their own teaching knowledge and skills.

"Finally, the research identified that the Geraldton Universities Centre increases the economic and social benefits of the region.

"Young people stay local to gain their teaching qualification and contribute to the local economy whilst doing so."

The research report, which provides key insights into the unique opportunities and inherent challenges of students as pre-service teachers, tutors and community members associated with a regional study hub, was officially launched at the GUC on Friday 27 September.