Bridging Program fosters return to study

Michelle Wayenberg, now studying Social Work at the Albury-Wodonga campus, credits the University Bridging Program (UBP) with transforming her life.


The UBP, a return-to-study program for mature-age prospective students (over 21), has been developed and delivered by staff at the campus.

The program has allowed Michelle, a mother of three small children, the opportunity to prepare herself for tertiary level studies despite her incomplete secondary schooling.

The program runs during second semester, commencing mid-July and finishing in early December. It is conducted two days a week from 10.00am – 3.00pm to assist student child care needs and all classes are held at the Albury-Wodonga Campus.

‘There are four subjects that make up the program and each subject runs for eighteen weeks.  The subjects have been developed so that they interrelate with each other.  Students are therefore strongly urged to enrol in all four subjects,’ said Bernadette Bennett, Academic Skills Unit and UBP Co-ordinator.

The UBP provides students with skills and increased confidence to assist them to successfully complete their proposed tertiary course requirements, and, as such, the content of the program goes well beyond basic literacy courses. The UBP continues to develop to meet the changing needs of prospective students and tertiary education courses, ensuring that participants have a realistic appreciation of the demands of tertiary study.

There is a two hour lecture per week for each of the following subjects: Introduction to Adult Learning, Introduction to Social Science, Introduction to Maths and Introduction to Science.

‘We are very proud of the fact that the UBP has, over the past 20 years, proven to be a successful springboard for hundreds of mature-age students from the regional community who have gone on to successfully complete tertiary studies,’ stated Ms Bennett.

The UBP has won a national award recognising its excellence, being ‘Highly Commended’ in the higher education category of the inaugural Pathways Awards at the 9th Post Secondary Education for People with Disabilities – Pathways Conference, held late in 2008. The award recognises excellence in transition and the promotion of enhanced study opportunities for students with a disability.

‘A significant number of people with a disability participate in the UBP every year – and the program has served as an excellent stepping stone for many people who have gone on to study tertiary courses, including courses at the La Trobe campus. This enabling program has given them the skills and confidence to succeed at the mainstream courses they subsequently undertake,’ said Marita Quaglio, Disability Liaison/Equity Officer at the Albury-Wodonga campus.

For further information about the UBP, contact Bernadette Bennett on (02) 6024 9772.


Media Contact: Reinhard Beissbarth T: 02.6024.9784