22 July, 2022
Uni to connect with Tablelands
A NEW partnership between CQUniversity and Tablelands Regional Council will see the establishment of a new regional outreach connection program to provide more communities in the with greater access to education and training.
The pilot program aims to engage more people in regional areas in vocational and higher education programs, with an aim to help secure and retain future workforces in the regions.
The program pilot will focus on healthcare training due to the ongoing need for regional communities to attract more skilled professionals.
It will then be evaluated by the university, the council, and industry and community representatives to assess community satisfaction and identify other priority training and education disciplines.
As part of the program, representatives from CQUniversity’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences will make regular visits to the Tablelands to provide regular in-person guidance and academic support to current and prospective students.
Program Leader and Nursing Lecturer from CQUniversity, Associate Professor Pauline Calleja said the program aimed to provide a personalised connection between the university and students studying online.
“Through this program we will be connecting students with the university and endeavouring to take the distance out of distance learning,” she said.
“As well as supporting current students in the region, prospective students will also be able to reach out to us to discuss their career options in the health sector and seek guidance on the study and career pathways available to them.
“We will meet with any community members interested in study or research and provide high personalised support to existing students studying at all levels.
“We are interested in any input from community about our university and courses that we can bring to improve access to education and research opportunities to the regions.”
Professor Calleja said this approach was in line CQUniversity’s continued growth in the Cairns and Far North region which sought to support the development of highly skilled workforces.
“By delivering this model of service close to home we can help more students to access vocational and higher education and help to remove the need for people to leave their communities in order to gain a qualification,” she said.
Tablelands Mayor Rod Marti said council was committed to providing the local community with greater access to education and to ensuring that locals had opportunities to gain skills so they could contribute to a strong regional workforce.
Professor Calleja and Associate Lecturer Nicole Jensen will be visiting the Tablelands throughout the remainder of the year (during the university’s term time) until the first week of October.
In the coming months, they will be at the Atherton Library on 25 July and on 1, 15 and 29 August, at the Ravenshoe Library on 8 August, and the Herberton Library on 22 August.