Grafton chosen for uni courses

GRAFTON TAFE has been chosen for a pilot Southern Cross University College so students will be able to earn associate degrees without leaving the Clarence Valley.

The new scheme, which is to encourage more people to pursue higher education from Coffs Harbour to the Gold Coast, could see up to 50 students a year gain associate degrees, which are the pathway to full degrees at university, in Business, Allied Health, Science and Arts.

"For example, after the initial two years at the learning centre, a Grafton resident enrolling in an associate degree of allied health could temporarily re-locate to one of SCU's campuses and go on to study and graduate as an occupational therapist, a speech pathologist or a podiatrist or a pedorthist (the science of limb prostheses)," SCU College director Dr Jane Thomson said.

This news comes after Clarence Valley Council announced the University of New England and SCU will set up facilities in the local library.

Grafton TAFE has been identified as the pilot site for the new scheme, which will include capacity for video conferencing, teaching and learning support. "Lecturers from the SCU campuses at Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Gold Coast will visit the students and offer support," Dr Thomson said.

"In addition there will be Grafton-based teaching staff employed by the university to provide on-site consultation and assistance with studying the units. This will make it possible for someone who would like to pursue university study but doesn't have the entry qualifications, to commence study without leaving their home base."

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