First in family at university?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


Are you the first member of your family to go to university? At ACU we have your back.

It is a big step for students to start university, especially if you are the first member of your family ever to do so.

You may feel like you don’t have anyone who can tell you what it’s like, what to expect, and who to ask. Then you step into a lecture theatre at a big university campus where there are hundreds of other students and you feel that there is no one to take your questions.

ACU is a place where the transition from high school to university is smoother – and that’s important. We have a tradition of being an inclusive and nurturing university, and we look after our new students.

ACU opens its doors to all students, and provides a university experience that is supportive and empowering.

One ACU student, who is undertaking a dual degree in law and business, left a big-name university because she felt she was just a number there and was left to her own devices. If she didn’t perform well that was not the university’s problem.

We take a different approach here. If students don’t perform well in a unit we first look at what we are doing and see if this needs to change.

In addition, ACU has dedicated staff to answer questions about course work, to assist students who might be struggling, to provide guidance on ACU services, and collect feedback about the university experience.

We have people students can turn to, especially in first year, if they are unsure of something or if they are struggling with their university experience in any way. And even our more senior students help out, too.

If a student is struggling with a challenging subject, they can join an additional smaller class led by a second or third year student who received a high distinction in that unit. Sometimes it is easier for students to relate to their peers.

For more information on navigating university life, see the Student Talk blog posts from current ACU students.

There’s loads of information on the student site. Start with the Office of Student Success or stop by one of our offices on campus to have a chat and meet some of the other students and staff.