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ECU and Mission Australia improving access to higher education

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


Edith Cowan University (ECU) is helping to make career dreams a reality for people experiencing significant life challenges through a new partnership with Mission Australia.

People who would not normally be able to access university education will be offered a place at ECU following successful completion of Mission Australia's Catalyst program.

The Catalyst program, sponsored by Woodside, encourages participants to improve their situation through learning and developing essential skills in a supportive environment.

The program was developed in conjunction with ECU staff to ensure that participants have the skills and confidence to succeed at university.

Mission Australia's Catalyst Program Coordinator Louise Oakley said the course encouraged students to examine, contemplate and question the world around them, and build their self-esteem.

"All the students need is a desire to learn, the willingness to commit to a 12-week program and possession of a Health Care Card," Ms Oakley said.

ECU's Manager, Student Retention and Support Claire Brown, said that the program provides wonderful outcomes for the students, the staff involved and the corporate partners who also mentor the students through their course.

"We have had students apply to ECU through the program who never thought that university was an option and it's wonderful to see their confidence grow" she said.

ECU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kerry Cox says it is important that those who seek a university education are offered guidance and support.

"These students now have the skills to succeed at university and make a valuable contribution to the knowledge economy" he said.

The Catalyst program was first implemented in Sydney in 2005 based on the successful Clemente model developed in the United States.

The program was officially launched on Wednesday, 16 April at Mission Australia's Maddington office.

For more information about the Catalyst program, contact Mission Australia's WA office on 9225 0400.

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
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