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UP & COMING

Fiona Ingram is the co-ordinator for the development of new study and career preparation Level 4 programme at at NMIT. What is NMIT’s Level 4 Bridging Hub programme about? It’s a new, innovative approach that allows flexibility and options for students entering tertiary education. They will all do two core courses covering academic study skills such as reading, writing and maths. These courses include digital literacy, computer skills, communication and study skills. Students can then choose from a range of six general tertiary options to lead them into studying nursing, counselling and social work.

Why offer a programme such as this? This programme allows people – from school-leavers to older people – wanting to change career paths a chance to get NCEA levels two and three. For older students it allows them to ‘get to grips’ with current learning systems they’re not familiar with, such as computer skills.

What benefits does this course offer school-leavers? It allows school-leavers without NCEA levels 2 and 3 to study in an environment that may suit them better than secondary school. This course creates a safe learning environment, and class numbers are small so teachers are able to give learners more attention.

How does a course like this build students’ confidence? School-leavers flourish in this sort of environment because it’s often very different to what they’ve experienced before. It’s often a new start and the students become more self-aware and are able to get one-on-one teaching. Having older people in the class also helps to give school-leavers confidence.

Why do older people do this programme? Many people in their 40s and 50s want a career change. Some have been in mundane, minimum-wage jobs for much of their working lives. A programme like this offers them the qualifications they need to advance into diploma or degree study. Older students learn well as they are willing to put the time in. This inspires the school-leavers on the programme.

What is your background in education? Well, when I left school I did not know what I wanted to do. Because I was a bit of a ‘jack-of- all-trades’, I trained as a primary school teacher. I also studied music and dance. I taught English as a second language in Germany and London. I am excited about how education practices are changing to better suit the ways we actually learn and I really like helping others to discover their potential and see their future as a positive thing.

How did you end up working at NMIT? I actually started here as a volunteer. I relieved for a time and then began teaching here. I also teach English to international students, which is very rewarding. Teaching and learning throughout your life – that’s what it is all about.

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FIONA INGRAM BY MARAMA NOAKES P H O T O G R A P H Y A N A G A L L O WAY

Wild Tomato November 2016  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...

Wild Tomato November 2016  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...