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New transition program enables First Nations students to study business at university

pre-business enabling program team
CDU Asia Pacific College of Business and Law Dean Professor David Low (back left) and the pre-enabling programs team with students Ben Tyler (front left), Sonya Seubert and curriculum designer James Parfitt Fejo.

A new free four-week intensive learning and mentoring program at Charles Darwin University (CDU) will provide a smooth transition for First Nations students to study business at university.

CDU has launched a First Nations Pre-Business Enabling Program tailored to First Nations learners wanting to study a Bachelor of Business or an approved Vocational Education and Training (VET) business program.

The program delivered by CDU’s Asia Pacific College of Business and Law at the Waterfront Campus will commence in January, offering a month-long full-time course and ongoing individual and group mentoring provided by a dedicated facilitator and past students.

During the four weeks, students develop essential skills in academic literacy and become familiarised with the higher education academic environment and study expectations.

The pre-business program supports students to be successful in their subsequent business studies by preparing them academically and socially with a supportive network of lecturers, peer mentors and industry connections.  

Dean of the CDU Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, Professor David Low, said the pre-enabling programs would allow more First Nations students to tap into the business sector.

“The pre-business program equips First Nations students with a business mindset, so they are informed when considering business-related careers,” Professor Low said.

“The preparation unit makes studying in higher education a more feasible option for First Nations students, encouraging them to actively take charge of their learning and career progression.”

The teaching and learning materials in the program are designed to meet the learning styles and needs of First Nations learners.

CDU business lecturer and Pre-Business Enabling Program coordinator, Dr Chrystie Watson, said industry connections could empower First Nations students to gain valuable insights in local businesses.

“The First Nations Pre-Business program has been developed in partnership with local businesses and representatives to offer an authentic Indigenous experience of business,” Dr Watson said.

“Students will be supported throughout the program to develop business skills while learning about local First Nation projects and initiatives.”

The pre-business program is a new offering at CDU in addition to the existing pre-accounting and pre-law enabling programs that have both demonstrated successful outcomes for First Nations students transitioning into Bachelor of Accounting and Law and related VET courses.  

Expressions of interest for the 2022 First Nations Pre-Business Enabling Program will be closing on 13 December 2021. More information can be found here: https://www.cdu.edu.au/study/course/first-nations-pre-business-program

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