Australian Catholic University (ACU) has been engaged in the Mt Druitt precinct for 15 years and, in particular, has developed a close relationship with Loyola Senior High School.
ACU's Institute for Advancing Community Engagement (IACE), the School of Education (NSW) and Loyola Senior High School have created programs to address educational equity issues through educational pathways and learning support such as:
Unilink is a program that enables Year 11 and 12 students to study Undergraduate units that, in addition to contributing to their Higher School Certificate, may count for credit if they proceed to undergraduate study at ACU.
ACUlink is an early intervention community engagement that aims to change Year 8-12 students' perceptions such that they view university as a worthwhile, relevant and achievable post-secondary option for themselves. The program engages students in goal-setting, mentoring and orientation towards tertiary study.
SUIT, or step-up into teaching program, enables students in Years 11 and 12 to study undergraduate teaching units during the HSC for credit towards university courses.
Learning Support engages ACU students as tutors and mentors for Loyola students providing them with valuable support in their studies.
Loyola Students visiting ACU's Strathfield Campus
The outcomes achieved to date include:
Significant impact on the students' and community's expectations of the student's capabilities, study options and employment prospects.
Graduates from Loyola who are now studying at ACU return to the school on a regular basis and provide role models for current Loyola students while others are now members of staff at Loyola.