Information for student volunteers
What do University student volunteers do?
As a University student volunteer you will work in pairs in your adopted school, running a series of fun, hands-on activities to give Grade 5-9 students a taste of what university is all about. You may be working with one or more different classes. Classroom teachers will be present at all sessions. The University will cover travel costs related to your school visits. With assistance from University staff, you will also host a visit to the University campus by your school group/s.
How much of my time will it take?
You will be required to deliver two sessions in schools, host a visit by your school to the University campus, and attend three training sessions. The total time commitment, including planning, travel, delivery of sessions, hosting a University campus visit and participation in training, will be around 30-35 hours. It can be very disruptive for schools and their students if University volunteers miss scheduled visits.
Please note that the program operates in semester 2, however you are required to attend a preliminary training session in week 12 of semester 1. You will be required to attend a total of three face-to-face training sessions. Training sessions will be offered in both Launceston and Hobart.
Below is a timetable of program activities and requirements:
Week of semester
|Launceston||Mon 22 May||5:00 - 7:00 PM||Launceston Face-to-face training session 1*|
|Hobart||Tues 23 May||5:00 - 7:00 PM||Hobart Face-to-face training session 1|
Mon 17 July
|5:00 - 7:00 PM||Launceston Face-to-face training session 2*|
|Hobart||Tues 18 July||5:00 - 7:00 PM||Hobart Face-to-face training session 2|
|Week 3||Date TBC||TBA - allow 1/2 to 1 full day||School visit 1|
Mon 14 August
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Launceston Face-to-face training session 3*
Tues 15 August
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Hobart Face-to-face training session 3
|Week 7||Date TBC||TBA - allow 1/2 to 1 full day||School visit 2|
|Week 8 or 9||Date TBC||TBA - allow 1/2 to 1 full day||Visit by school to University campus|
* Cradle Coast students may choose to attend Launceston training sessions. Where they are unable to do so, alternative training arrangements will be negotiated.
What sort of training and support will I receive?
University staff will provide training in designing and leading activities for school-aged children, and will be available to offer suggestions and support throughout the program.
Who can volunteer?
Students from all Faculties are welcome. In previous years, we had University student volunteers from AMC, Arts, Business, Education, Engineering, Law and Nursing. The volunteers we are looking for will enjoy working with young people.
Selection criteria for University Student Volunteers:
- Effective communication and interpersonal skills, in relation to engaging school-aged children.
- Effective team work skills.
- Understanding and/or empathy with children from schools and communities with low transition rates to university (i.e. those in low socioeconomic and rural areas).
- Knowledge of, or willingness to acquire knowledge about, strategies to shape children's further study aspirations.
- Good planning and organisational skills.
- Commitment to participate in all training activities, school visits and the University campus visit by your school.
- Willingness to undergo a National Working with Children Check. (University staff will assist you to obtain this check if you do not already have one.)
Are there any costs involved?
The University will cover all reasonable volunteer costs, such as travel to schools. Please check with the Program Coordinator if you are unsure whether an expense would be covered or not.
Why should I participate?
You'll get personal satisfaction from knowing you have made a difference. You'll be able to develop your leadership skills. Participation in the program will add to your resume and increase your employability skills.
You can also get formal credit by enrolling in the unit XSA200/300 'Leadership for UTAS Students-in-schools'. This leadership unit is offered as part of the Bachelor of Philosophy, and can also be taken as an elective in other degrees, subject to School approval. For more information about the unit see Course and Unit Information. For more information about the Bachelor of Philosophy contact B.Phil@utas.edu.au
What previous UTAS student volunteers have said about the program
"I really enjoyed working with the students that I worked with, just the observable changes in attitude I suppose and their knowledge of university, even in just three sessions. To be able to observe that take shape was really rewarding for me."
"The highlight – I would say the number of students who did not know … that University was a possibility for them … just opening their eyes … and seeing the little minds think about it was really worthwhile."
"And I really enjoyed it, I really did. It gave me a lot of experience towards the Masters of Teaching. I got the benefit of knowing that I possibly helped these kids open their minds about coming to university."
"I think the main thing I got out of it was putting the theory and all the academic literature that we study into practice and seeing how that actually does work. Seeing a turnaround in some of these kids from low socioeconomic areas is incredible … when you're aware that you might be a positive influence in these children's lives, I think that's incredibly powerful."
"I love the idea of shaping aspirations so I was just really excited … that it was open to UTAS students to do it as a volunteer by going into schools and talking to kids about going to university. And the reason I was excited about that was because I had a good experience at university and just wanted to share my experiences with future students and I love working with kids … [I was] first person in my family to go to college and university and it completely changed my life for the better."
"She [UTAS project officer] was very consistent with her communications with us, she was very accessible if we had any questions, she gave us all the support I could have wanted and more than I expected from just one person organising all these groups with all these schools."
How to apply to join the program
Write an expression of interest explaining why you are applying for this voluntary role and what qualities and skills you can bring to the role. Please make sure you address each of the selection criteria in your expression of interest.
Please email your expression of interest to Robert Alderson at Robert.Alderson@utas.edu.au
Applications close on Friday 28 April 2017.