SCU College celebrates 10 years as a stepping stone into higher education

Published 14 April 2022
SCU College EAP students in a group smiling together on the stairs International students from the English Language Academic Pathway program through SCU college at the Lismore campus.

Beginning with a small offering of associate degrees, an English language program, and the foundation course 'Preparing for Success' in 2012, the College was born out of Southern Cross University’s drive to increase access and participation in higher education across the campus regions.

“It’s an important role that the College plays and it’s really transformative in regional Australia where we know there are lower rates of higher education participation and higher numbers of non-traditional students, who might be the first person in their family to study, or those who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds or students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander,” Professor Thomas Roche, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) and Dean of SCU College said.

He believes providing a pathway to tertiary studies for all students, regardless of their previous educational background or ATAR score is at the heart of the College. 

“What we do in the College is open up doors to study and future careers for students who otherwise wouldn’t gain admission to university,” he said.

“We track our students as they go on to further study and results show that students who have completed an SCU College pathway program are actually more likely to succeed in their studies than their peers,” Professor Roche said.

Professor Roche and Associate Dean (Education) Suzi Syme have presented research on this topic: ‘Bridging programs transform students’ lives – they even go on to outperform others at uni’.

SCU College now provides a suite of courses, including six diplomas, five undergraduate certificates, domestic and international preparation programs, and two English language units which were awarded a prestigious gold standard NEAS rating in 2021.

“Our curriculum and pedagogy are underpinned by a culture of care that helps students develop into confident, independent and critical learners. The College is their starting point to connect to Southern Cross and gain a sense of belonging. They share a powerful message with their families and communities that it is possible to succeed academically, creating intergenerational change,” Associate Professor Suzi Syme said.

Happy 10th birthday SCU College!

Media contact: Media and content team content@scu.edu.au