First OnTrack Sprint cohort to begin Murdoch degrees

February 25, 2015

From left to right: Ashleigh Baker, Tom Mansfield, Jake Liebregts, Abbi Arash and Alex Berndt are among the first cohort to complete OnTrack Sprint

From left to right: Ashleigh Baker, Tom Mansfield, Jake Liebregts, Abbi Arash and Alex Berndt are among the first cohort to complete OnTrack Sprint

The first cohort of students to have successfully completed Murdoch University’s new four week enabling program OnTrack Sprint are all set to begin their chosen degrees.

The group of 24 just missed out on a university offer after receiving their ATAR scores in late December and applied to Murdoch to top up their skills in the free university preparation course.

The program provided the students with an intensive grounding in Murdoch University life, getting them used to being on campus and the tertiary approach to learning and teaching.

Program coordinators, lecturers and tutors Dr Angela Jones and Anita Olds said the students had shown great commitment to achieving their goals at Murdoch and they had been given a solid grounding in the academic requirements ahead of them.

“Critical thinking and academic writing skills were the central focus of the course, but the key concept of Creating Positive Social Change unified the learning,” said Dr Jones.

“We explored the great change makers such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr as well as the contemporary communication of social issues such as digital activism and hacktivism.”

Ms Olds added: “These students leave the course not only more academically adept but enthusiastic about being agents of positive social change.

“This cohort of students has been brilliant to work with as they have been very focused on their university futures. As a result they have been engaged, earnest and proactive learners and an absolute joy to teach.”

Jake Liebregts, 17, from Armadale will be starting a business management degree next week thanks to the OnTrack Sprint course, which he described as “pretty amazing”.

“The tutors have been an incredible support to all of us and have taught us how to embrace independent learning,” he said.

“We’ve learnt to look at different perspectives and arguments in a particular topic and how to present these in our academic writing.

“My parents have noticed a complete turnaround in the standard of my writing and I even found myself reading an academic philosophy book. I think I have found my niche at Murdoch University!”

Fellow OnTrack Sprinter Abbi Arash, 17, from Nollamara will be starting a degree in social and developmental psychology next week, and said that without the course she would have been completely unprepared for university life.

“I feel the course has given me a head start because I now know what to expect,” she said. “Without it I think I would have been academically unprepared on the degree course I’ve chosen.

“University writing is step up from high school standards because you need to understand many different viewpoints, which allow you to perceive your world from a completely new angle.”

Students were eligible for entry to OnTrack Sprint if they had completed their WACE in the previous 18 months and had generated an ATAR of between 60 and 69.5, or if they generated a score of over 70 but had not quite achieved English language competence.

The successful completion of OnTrack Sprint means the students can access around 70 undergraduate degrees and pathway courses at Murdoch.

Many of the students are starting their degrees next week when semester one begins while others have decided to defer their entry to Murdoch for another year.

The University is planning to run the OnTrack Sprint course again in 2016.

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Media contact: Jo Manning
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