Indigenous pathways RISE with La Trobe program supports First Nations high school students

The RISE with La Trobe program is La Trobe’s pathways program for Indigenous high school students in Years 9 to 12 from regional and metropolitan Victoria and the Northern Territory.

The program began 18 months ago with the purpose of providing support networks and removing fears and barriers surrounding tertiary education so that Indigenous students can build their self-esteem and confidently pursue higher education.

What does the RISE with La Trobe program involve?

The RISE with La Trobe program incorporates both on-campus and on-country cultural and academic enrichment initiatives to ensure students gain exposure to the higher education experience, as well as connect with their culture and First Nations peers and community.

When on campus, students participate in a ‘day in the life of a university student’ where they are given autonomy to plan their schedule, attend lectures and workshops as well as meet current First Nations university students.

The cultural aspects of the program provide an opportunity for the students to meet with Elders and community leaders, visit cultural sites of significance and participate in cultural tours and activities.

Part of this is also an annual cultural and educational camp that brings all RISE students together to meet new friends as well as learn about higher education opportunities. The program extends its support beyond these initiatives by providing RISE with La Trobe program students access to career expos, mentoring, referral services, and academic skills and exam preparation workshops.

“Overall, this camp helped increase confidence in myself and my future career choices. This camp was such an amazing experience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that may be considering going to uni because it has helped me realise that uni is what I need, to get into my career”. – Student feedback

What happens after the program?

This support for First Nations students continues after the RISE with La Trobe program has been completed. Year 11 and 12 students are offered a pathway program equal to their academic level and are given a laptop and complimentary two-hours private tuition per week. Completion of this pathway leads to a conditional offer into La Trobe.