Over the past few weeks, WIC has facilitated its WIC-Ed university preparation program, both on campus and online. Across the three sessions we’ve seen an unprecedented uptake in participation, with 57 total students completing the two-day online program designed to ease their transition into tertiary study.
The success of the program begins to correct the inequity of current educational structures, allowing Indigenous Australian students from as far away as Silicon Valley in the U.S. to feel confident that they’ll ‘hit the ground running’ once Autumn session begins.
WIC-Ed adheres to an evidence-based design focusing heavily on academic writing requirements, while accentuating a strength-based understanding of Indigenous Australian cultures and critical methodologies.
For the past two years the program’s been facilitated by an all-Aboriginal teaching staff, this year including a WIC student ambassador who completed WIC-Ed last year and has gone on to establish a HD average in his first year of study. The success of the program has seen 88% of all attendees receive a minimum of a credit average over the last two years. The program actively continues to build on local Indigenous approaches to inclusion and diversity.
Much of this year’s success can be attributed to the participating students’ willingness to engage in a program and format that encourages them to stray from their comfort zones, while simultaneously providing a culturally safe space for them to do so.
“The WIC-Ed program has been extremely beneficial in understanding how university standards of writing have differed from high school, and it has helped me connect with Indigenous kids around my area who will be attending UOW with me,” Keina Brewer said after she completed 2021 program.
“I recommend it to other future Indigenous kids who attend UOW.”
Makayla, another of this year’s participants, said her WIC-Ed experience has made her feel at ease with entering university.
“Especially meeting the other Indigenous students and connecting with other future Social Workers. The booklet has helped me feel prepared for my first semester, and yarning with Joel and Aunty Jeno has made me feel at home at Woolyungah.”