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Young parents seeking to re-engage with education are receiving a helping hand from a new Deakin University mentoring program in Warrnambool.
The support for students in South West TAFE’s Young Parents in VCAL course is an extension of the u.life program which started as a pilot last year at Deakin University to demystify university and study for secondary school students.
A group of Deakin University first year students from the Bachelor of Education and Associate Degree of Business, Sciences and Arts courses will mentor young parents from SWTAFE in a series of activities over the next few months. Staff from the School of Education at Deakin University and SWTAFE will also work together with the students to develop the activities to be delivered via the project.
The program was successfully introduced last year with a group of Year 9 Warrnambool College students.
Warrnambool Education Coordinator Associate Professor Bernadette Walker-Gibbs said the Widening Horizons project was designed to open up different pathways for students who are young parents.
“We are developing a mentoring model which will help students from different backgrounds to become more aware of the options and support available to them and advantages of further education,” she said.
The program includes one-on-one support, mock interviews, workplace excursions and on 20 June the Deakin students we will be doing an `amazing race’ around Warrnambool with the young parents to introduce them to various support options and to build the mentor/mentee relationships.It will culminate with a public event which will contribute to the students’ VCAL requirements.
Related article in the Warrnambool Standard on 26 June 2012 A helping hand for young students with children