A learning experience that extends beyond the classroom


A learning experience that extends beyond the classroom Employers in the field of engineering were able to hear more about the benefits of Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) Engineering Foundation Program at a luncheon organised by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana in Dubbo. Guests were enlightened by Professor Euan Lindsay, as the director of CSU Engineering, who spoke about how the innovative program offers students a unique combination of group-based campus learning, paid work placements and online tuition. 
“The point of difference is that it offers entrepreneurial graduates, exposure to practice, an innovative curriculum, a diverse cohort and a head start on chartered status,” he told the group. 
The program, which was founded in 2015, gives students a hands-on learning experience which extends beyond the classroom.
“We don’t recruit students, we hire student engineers,” Professor Lindsay explained, with the first intake of students now in their second year of the balanced work/study program. 
“From an industry perspective, potential business partners will be able to engage a work-ready cadet, with the support and knowledge of a network of academic staff and the ability to broaden and foster growth opportunities through engagement and networking and the ongoing professional development of a Cadet Engineer.” 
Business representatives at the event included local and regional companies such as Geolyse, Barnson, Alkane Resources, Maas Group along with government representatives from Dubbo and Cobar councils and the Roads and Maritime Services. RDA Orana Executive Officer Megan Dixon was pleased with the success of the collaboration. 
“It was great for business managers to come along and hear about the format of this program and to know that tertiary learning is evolving and that they can be a part of that. It’s really exciting to know that students will have both a professional qualification and industry experience when they graduate.” 
Professor Lindsay said the program was proving to be a trailblazer for regional centres of study. 
“There are engineering schools in metropolitan areas, but then there is the Sandstone Curtain. For CSU, it was a case of when are we going to tackle engineering? We need to build something that no-else is doing, something that doesn’t already exist. 
“We are not just Wollongong without the beach. We’re not your traditional engineering school and that means we are looking to provide opportunities for ‘not your traditional’ students.” Professor Lindsay described the program as a way for students to ‘change the world and really make a difference.’ For more information, contact RDA Orana on 6885 1488 or CSU on 1800 334 733.

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