Students flourishing on UC-operated programmes

Press Release – University of Canterbury

Students on the University of Canterbury’s American New Zealand Association (ANZA)-funded after school homework support and outreach programmes are flourishing and acknowledge the positive impact that it is having on their secondary studies and on their future …

Students flourishing on UC-operated programmes funded by the American New Zealand Association (ANZA)

Students on the University of Canterbury’s American New Zealand Association (ANZA)-funded after school homework support and outreach programmes are flourishing and acknowledge the positive impact that it is having on their secondary studies and on their future aspirations.

ANZA was formed as a USA tax deductible entity in 2010 with a primary focus on funding for education between NZ and USA. The Chairman of ANZA Ian Phillips happened to be in Christchurch during the February earthquake and saw firsthand the devastation caused to people and buildings.

“We decided to use our vehicle to immediately raise funds from our American and New Zealand friends in the USA, including UC alumni, to do what we could to help,” said Phillips.

“We are a small focused and energised group, harnessing our relief efforts in the areas of education and helping young people with more than 15 projects funded to date.”

The association agreed to provide funding to support outreach and liaison activities that prepare and encourage students from low-decile schools, Maori and Pacific students to study at the University of Canterbury.

“Working with UC we were pleased to help establish three new programmes,” said Phillips. “The results so far show the need for new initiatives like these and we are looking forward to working with the University on further projects in the future.”

Te Ru Tauira, an after school homework support and Maori leadership programme that was launched in August, is one of several such programmes that is being sponsored as part of ANZA’s Canterbury Outreach Project.

Te Ru Tauira provides a two-hour programme of activities one day per week. Students spend the first hour on homework study with help on hand from UC tutors. The second hour is spent touring the University’s facilities and attending guest lectures. Students will complete their first term on the programme this week and will continue their participation in Te Ru Tauira in term four.

Eshah Wilkes (Ngai Tahu) a Year 12 Aranui High School student who is taking part in Tu Ru Tauira is very positive about the programme. “Over the past few weeks my credits have gone from a really desperate state to something that is on task and I believe that I’m going to pass this year…thanks to this course it encouraged me to study more and the results encourage me even more.”

Project leader and University of Canterbury Maori Development Officer Hemi Inia said Te Ru Tauira is providing students with homework support to enhance their NCEA achievement rates. “We believe that the programme will contribute to the academic achievement and retention of Maori secondary students in the Canterbury region. It will also help identify and support future Maori leaders and provide information and advice and a clear pathway to tertiary study.”

ANZA has also provided funding for an outreach programme that started at Linwood College, Aranui High School and Papanui High School last month. Secondary school students are being supported thorough a targeted mentoring scheme for achievement in literacy, numeracy, and science in NCEA assessments.

The programme is being delivered by UC students enrolled in secondary teacher education at the College of Education. The UC students had already been working on a voluntary basis at the Ministry of Education’s Christchurch Homework Study Support Centres at Linwood College and Papanui High School.

UC student mentors are providing one-on-one support or are working with small groups of school students to help them with course work or to prepare for NCEA assessments for three afternoons a week at the Linwood homework centre and four days a week at the Papanui centre.

UC Me XL, a UC Pacific Development Team Outreach Programme was also launched at Aranui High School and Linwood College last month.

The UC Me XL programme takes place twice a week and focuses on helping students to complete internal assessments. Students are invited to both weekly sessions at Aranui High School on Mondays and at Linwood College on Tuesdays and transport is provided from one school to the other.

During the current secondary school term break the programme is running NCEA exam preparation workshops every day from 10:00am – 2:00pm. These workshops focus heavily on specific, selected NCEA subjects.

Initial indications are that the number of students who will participate in the first UC Me XL programme will exceed expectations by more than 20 per cent. “There are already clear indicators that students’ academic achievements have increased,” said Team Leader of the University of Canterbury’s Pacific Development Team, Liz Kineti.

Linwood College Principal Margaret Paiti said that it was uplifting to see so many Linwood and Aranui students working together and positively engaging in this opportunity. “There is definitely a need for this kind of initiative as it will help reduce achievement disparity and prepare students for meaningful tertiary pathways,” she said.

University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr expressed the University’s gratitude for the fundraising that ANZA had undertaken and their support of initiatives that will support achievement at secondary and tertiary level. “I am hopeful that participation in ANZA-funded initiatives such as these can prove to be a life-changing experience for many of the participants and will help set them on the path to success at the University of Canterbury.”

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Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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