Australian Catholic University (Australia) – ACU Collaboration with TFA Extended into NSW

Australian Catholic University (ACU) has welcomed the decision to extend its successful partnership program with Teach for Australia (TFA) into New South Wales.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the Government would adopt the program, which offers a two-year Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning) degree, to attract high achievers into teaching careers in high demand areas across the state.

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis welcomed the decision to expand the initiative that has been operating successfully in other parts of Australia.

“This vision supports ACU’s mission of social inclusion and working for the common good. We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with TFA and introduce it into NSW, and to build on our relationship that is based on shared values and expertise in teacher formation.”

ACU Faculty of Education and Arts Executive Dean Professor Mary Ryan said the NSW Government announcement of a bespoke TFA program was a win for the profession.

“We know that we need to attract more teachers to the profession and doing so in diverse ways including the TFA program, which targets high-achieving graduates and successful career-changers, is a positive for schools, students, and the workforce,” she said.

“Teaching students are telling us they need more flexibility when it comes to acquiring their teaching qualifications as well as more time in the classroom, and this program delivers on both fronts.”

Successful applicants complete an intensive program of learning and gain classroom experience before being placed in a low-socioeconomic, regional or remote community for two years where they are paid to teach at 80% of a full-time load, while completing their Master’s qualifications.

The students, known as Associates, receive regular coaching, mentoring and academic support from ACU and TFA while they teach and complete their studies, which involves lectures, workshops, and assessments.

“Associates have access to experts in teacher education, a robust and high-quality learning experience, and authentic classroom experiences,” Professor Ryan said.

“They are supported every step of the way and complete one quarter of their Master’s degree before they commence teaching.

“They are ready for the challenge, and they bring vital skills from a range of prior successful careers into the classroom to the benefit of secondary school students.”

TFA CEO Melodie Potts Rosevear said it was exciting to be extending the program into NSW in partnership with ACU, which shared TFA’s commitment to pursuing social justice and equity in education.

“Participants will receive significant wrap around coaching and support through the program model and their Master of Teaching from ACU – a well-established university in the state.”