Project lead: Queensland Department of Education and Training
Project funding: $50,000 Round 3 2014
The Remote Area Teacher Education Program (RATEP) is a community based Indigenous program comprising teaching and management staff from TAFE QN (Queensland North), James Cook University (JCU) and Education Queensland (EQ) who work in close partnership with Indigenous community organisations. Its core business is to provide direct pathways of study in regional, rural and remote areas of Queensland in order to increase the pool of registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers and paraprofessionals in state schools. All RATEP staff have extensive experience working with Indigenous adult learners in teacher education.
The project funded 0.5 of a full time TAFE QN teacher’s position to support continuation and expansion of RATEP’s new offsite delivery model. The model allows Indigenous people to study from a school location with no onsite RATEP centre and incorporates interactive virtual classroom e-sessions, online assessment and mobile technologies. Students have regular access to a full time EQ offsite teacher coordinator who provides tutorial, pastoral and administrative support.
In 2014, 30 people from 23 locations applied. Of these, 18 applications were successful (nine Certificate IV and nine Diploma of Education). Eight full time students completed on time and only one of the remaining students withdrew due to gaining a full time promotion position in Canberra.
In 2015, 18 people from 12 locations applied (10 Diploma of Education, four Bachelor of Education and four Certificate IV).
The program and its successes have been widely promoted through a range of media, publicity for the graduation ceremony, TAFE QN Facebook page and the Queensland Department of Education and Training State Schooling website.
MATSITI evaluation conclusions
This project has harnessed appropriate technology and has ensured that well qualified staff were available to provide support for students, having regard to issues in offsite delivery and the remote living of many of the students. The program’s low attrition rate is a testament to its success. The traction gained by the RATEP offsite delivery model will contribute significantly to its sustainability.
This project owes its success to its owners’ awareness of and responses to difficulties faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in completing their studies, especially those living in remote locations. Responses include a sophisticated use of technology, involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and ongoing support to students.
Project contact: Ian Hodges, Program Coordinator, TAFE Queensland North RATEP