A successful program is helping students juggle professional sport careers and their studies.
Australian Catholic University has teamed with the National Rugby League’s Graduates of League program, involving more than 200 players from all 16 clubs, to provide the support players need to succeed off the field in their studies at university.
Piloted in 2011, Graduates of League was established formally in 2012 to improve university transition, retention and completion rates of elite athletes and professional sports people.
The support provided to athletes has seen greater academic outcomes and successful completion through this peer support.
Wests Tigers player Curtis Sironen has his eye on a possible career in business when his playing days are over. He is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at ACU, which he says will give him the skills he needs to enter the business world.
Curtis and his brother and teammate Bayley (Bachelor of Marketing), teammate Ava Seumanufagai (Bachelor of Arts Psychology), and South Sydney Rabbitohs player Hymel Hunt (Bachelor of Commerce) attended a Graduates of League Orientation session for ACU’s NRL players at the University’s Strathfield Campus on Wednesday 24 February.
They are among 35 rugby league players at ACU across six campuses in NSW, ACT, Queensland and Victoria involved in Graduates of League. Players from the NRL and Under 20s from half a dozen clubs attended the Sydney orientation session.
The program allows representative rugby league players to focus on their professional careers during football season, while giving them mentoring and academic support in their studies.
Hymel Hunt took advantage of ACU’s multiple campuses to transfer to the Strathfield Campus where he can continue his studies after switching clubs from the Melbourne Storm.
NRL Graduates of League (GOL) is a Higher Education academic and peer tuition program available to contracted players in the National Rugby League (NRL), National Youth Competition (NYC), NSW Rugby League, New Zealand Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League.
The program provides a head tutor for academic support with enrolment, transition and peer tuition.
The Australian Rugby League Commission will fund up to $1,000 per player for this program until the end of 2017. In 2016 the program is available to over 200 players across all 16 NRL Clubs across 18 university partner campuses.
ACU provides tutors to help with:
- University administration: enrolling in units, paying fees, timetabling
- academic skills: submitting assignments, extensions, missing classes, deferring exams, applying for Special Consideration
- peer support: goal setting, conflict resolution, identifying values, time management, communication skills, leadership and personal brand.
Graduates of League is part of ACU’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program.