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What qualifications are needed to enter the course?
No entry requirements are needed and we encourage anyone that is interested to apply regardless of the background qualifications.
What are the backgrounds of people who do apply?
Really varied: aides who want professional development in this field; parents of children with disabilities; people wanting to make a career transition; students out of school who want to gain further skills and learn more about education (may want later to enter teaching); ex- teachers who have out of date qualifications but who want to return to working with children; women who have been raising children and want to enter back into the workforce in a job that offers flexibility in working hours.
Will this course guarantee me a job as an Aide?
We cannot guarantee a job but the Deakin course is held in high regard and many graduates from the course have been successful in getting jobs. It is a well recognised program in both government and non-government schools.
The number of children with disabilities being enrolled at local schools is increasing (26,000 in 2006) and so increasingly teachers are requiring additional support staff.
The coordinator of the program works with you on a one to one basis to ensure that you are well prepared to apply for jobs and have a thorough understanding of the skills needed to apply for positions.
Is a formal qualification necessary in this field?
Currently it is not compulsory. Schools employ integration aides as ES Level 1 Range 1 and as such cannot require any formal or informal qualifications. Neither the AEU or the Department of Education and Early Childhood (DEECD) are seeking any change in this area.
How is the program taught and assessed?
The coordinator who is the main presenter is very conscious about making the learning relaxed and friendly so that people who have not studied for a while feel very comfortable and positive about their learning. There is a lot of small group work and high levels of activity and discussion so that people work cooperatively. Assignments and not exams or tests are used to find out about your understanding. The assignments are highly practical and there is flexibility about submission dates. Lots of individual support is offered to help students with their assignments.
Why do the course at Deakin University?
This program is designed and taught by academic staff who work in the School of Education at Deakin so the content of the course is strongly related to current practices in schools especially in relation to school curriculum and the latest approaches to learning. The presenters are highly experienced in the area of disability and have worked both as teachers and school principals. They have been involved in the training of Integration Aides for many years and really enjoy working with people entering this field.
Overall the program is tightly focused upon education and current knowledge
and practices working with children in school settings.