Shepparton / La Trobe is looking out for students from out-of-home care backgrounds

Have you heard about La Trobe’s Raising Expectations program?

The project seeks to make University more accessible for students coming from out-of-home care backgrounds.

Only one percent of people leaving care take part in post-school education.

The Raising Expectations project has been so successful over the past four years that the Victorian Government recently pledged another $1 million to see it continue until the end of 2022.

At the announcement this month, Masters student Georgia Linton spoke of her experience of University life as someone who’d spent a little bit of time in the care system.

“I did a work placement based subject so it required me to do an internship of 80 to 120 hours and during the semester I needed to step back on paid work commitments,” she says.

“I was looking at ways of doing my course and still financially exist so I came across care leaver bursary. 

“Between the ages of 10 and 12 I spent a bit of time in care and thought why not apply.

“It helped me to do the work placement subject which I think was one of the best subject’s I did in my degree because it was practical and an advantage on the resume.

“The bursary helped me get a more well-rounded degree by financially providing me with assistance during a time I could do full-time work.”

Since signing on to the project, La Trobe has rolled out a whole bunch of efforts to make things a little easier for care leavers.

For example:

  • The Uni has gotten much better at recognising when care leavers enrol at La Trobe;
  • It’s put the feelers out to flexible learning schools and care organisations that work with these young people;
  • We’ve also made bursaries and scholarships available to this group of students;
  • Guidelines about the specific needs of care leavers have been given to University staff.