Open Access College Student Story - Senior years student with disrupted education

Student referred by a non-government school in 2015

• Social phobia and anxiety

• Central Auditory Processing Disorder

• Attendance and engagement in education had been minimal

“R” began in New Directions in 2015, however issues with attendance continued due to anxiety. Teachers worked closely with her to complete Certificate I in Education and Skills Development.

In 2016 “R” attempted mainstream but quickly transferred to the supportive environment of Stage 1 Transition. Issues of attendance and work completion continued and “R” became more isolated, anxious and agoraphobic. Intervention by the OAC Youth Worker helped for a short time before the student reverted to previous behaviours. Completion of one unit of Stage 1 English was achieved despite attendance of 33%.

2017 rather than continuing the SACE battle “R” was encouraged to take on subjects for enjoyment in an effort to spark engagement – Photography, Food and Hospitality and Essential Maths were chosen.

With pressure off there was greater engagement and we were able to schedule Photography and Maths on days where the student’s mother was at home, and could support her logging on to lesson. Confidence improved. “R” and parent attended the State Careers Expo early in 2017, and “R” found a TAFE Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics of interest. This involved attendance one day per week at Adelaide TAFE. Attendance increased to 60%.

In 2018 “R” was able to successfully complete the Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics (55 Stage 1 credits) and is currently successfully undertaking the Certificate III in Makeup (85 Stage 2 credits) which is due for completion this year while continuing to be well supported by OAC Social Worker. The final compulsory subjects of Essential English and Research Project are being completed this year. Anxiety about attending lessons has lessened and she will work in Google Drive with her teachers.

This year due to increased confidence, she has been able to realise a long term goal to volunteer at an op shop, and can gain further SACE credits through Self-directed Learning. The OAC Social Worker has continued to support “R” – and been a makeup model for a practical session at TAFE. Both are attending the Formal – with the agreement that the student does the Social Worker’s makeup!

She has an achievable goal of working in the beauty industry, and will end this year with her qualification to do so – and SACE.

Once she discovered an interest area and a “spark” - working as a beautician - she was able to make enormous progress. Attending TAFE face to face (something which would have been impossible in 2016) and realising the benefits of VET, made SACE completion a realistic goal.

Last updated: 04 August 2020