The Mission’s Community Short Courses deliver intensive, flexible, vocationally-relevant short courses tailored for people whose learning needs are not adequately supported by existing foundation learning and training opportunities.
Delivery of Community Short Courses is based on modular courses and accreditation models, and takes advantage of modern learning tools, including virtual reality, 360 video, and digital devices.
A significant gap exists in education and training provision for high-complexity foundation learners, including people reintegrating from prison, community Corrections clients, mental health clients, and disengaged youth learners. Current education and training options are often not suitable for a number of reasons:
- Rigid course structures – many potential learners are interested in foundation learning and vocational upskilling, but are unable to commit to longer-term TEC-funded courses due to mental health, whānau commitments, and logistical barriers.
- Financial barriers – even modest enrolment fees present major barriers to many learners.
- Learning value – commercial “lifestyle” or hobby courses frequently have no recognition of achievement via NZQA and provide limited support for learners with additional challenges in the classroom.
- Confidence & competence – many learners lack the confidence and core skills to enrol in foundation education and training and their perceived risk of failure is too high.
The Community Short Courses solution is to provide foundation learners with free short courses that are:
- Flexible – mobile locations, on-the-job learning, small classes, flexible hours.
- Intensive – short course duration (between 1-12 weeks).
- Modular – ‘bite-sized’ programmes to build a qualification structure that suits learner needs and allows learners to “tag-on and tag-off” as needed.
- Tailored – delivery methods tailored to individual preferences and learning goals
- Outcome focused – creation of learning plans, individual progress tracked with ORS and SRS, tangible outcomes for participation (certification, accreditation).
- Vocationally relevant – with strong links to employers and work opportunities.
- Intensive learner support – close links with existing support services.
Community Short Courses are capable of helping learners to achieve NCEA 1 & 2, and NZ Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 1 & 2). Unit standard and other qualification-based delivery includes;
- Intensive literacy and numeracy skills
- Communication skills
- Employment and living skills
- Computer and technology skills
- Health and safety, food handling, workplace compliance
- Driver licences (learner and restricted)
Community Short Courses are delivered at several community-based locations in Dunedin, with funding support provided by Otago Community Trust.