Record student numbers pass free Murdoch preparation course

June 22, 2016

Janet Curlewis

Janet Curlewis said OnTrack was 'a life changing experience'

Murdoch’s free 14 week university preparation course has enjoyed a record breaking semester with more students than ever before awarded passes and places to study.

OnTrack was passed by 373 students this year, which is more than double the amount of students who passed in semester two of 2015 (183), and 125 more students than semester one, 2015 (248).

The course offers an alternative entry pathway, providing those who pass with a place to study any course at Murdoch which has an indicative ATAR of 70 or less.

Dr Angela Jones, Unit Coordinator Access Programs from Murdoch’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, said the OnTrack program is gaining a national reputation as a ‘gold standard’ in enabling education.

“Our numbers have been gradually growing over the past two years as a result of this,” she said.

“This year we were also an option in TISC for the first time, which also increased our number of applicants and eventual enrolments.

“Our program is constantly evolving in terms of structure, academic content and psycho-social elements to meet the needs and wellbeing of our changing cohorts. The success of our students is a result of their hard work and the fantastic teaching of our talented team of tutors and lecturers.”

The OnTrack team has recently been recognised in Murdoch’s internal awards for teaching achievement entitled the Vice Chancellor’s Citations for Excellence in Enhancing Learning.

The course arms students with the necessary academic writing, reading, analytical and research skills required for life as a Murdoch undergraduate. The course is popular within the wider University, with academic staff describing OnTrack students as “positive, self-motivated and confident learners”.

Janet Curlewis, who completed OnTrack in 2013, described the course as “a life changing experience”.

“My involvement in the OnTrack Program was absolutely vital to my transition to university life,” she said. “Coming from a non-academic background meant I had to start from scratch with regards to all forms of academic discourse, writing and presenting.”

Janet has put her studies on hold to return to full time work but has only another seven units to complete to achieve her Bachelor of Arts (double major in English and creative writing, and history). She is planning to complete her degree as an external student.

“For those in similar situations to myself and who have the dream of university, I would say ‘take the step’ and fulfil the dream,” she added.

Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University Professor Eeva Leinonen said the University was immensely proud of OnTrack and was committed to its suite of enabling programs.

“They have become an important pathway to university for non-traditional students and they play an important role in social inclusion,” she said.

“Our programs are offering a rewarding and distinctive student experience, based on Murdoch’s commitment to access, equity and community partnerships.”

Notes to editors

OnTrack was first offered in 2008 and runs on each of Murdoch’s three domestic campuses. As a result of the success of the program, the OnTrack team was commissioned to develop a new, shorter version of the program, entitled OnTrack Sprint. Piloted in the summer period prior to Semester 1, 2015 and offered again in 2016 with 300 per cent growth in numbers, the Sprint offering is aimed at students who have just missed the required ATAR mark for university.

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Comments (2 responses)

ANDREW TAGGART June 28, 2016

Great to attend the celebration. Successful programs at Rockingham and Mandurah were also completed in semester 1.

Well done to all involved. The move to offer OnTrack through TISC was a clear success.

Hope leader Gael is back on deck soon.

David Macey July 10, 2016

Fantastic news!
Well done to all concerned. Great to see Murdoch fulfilling its original remit for mature aged and "alternative entry" students so well.

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