Giving students the edge on their pathway to a fulfilling career

Ms Katie McPhee1

1Swinbourne University, Hawthorn, Australia

International students must navigate through a multitude of issues:  a different culture, different academic expectations, independence, financial pressures from parents or sponsors, and they have to work through these issues in English!  The need for ELIOCS operators to provide effective, collaborative Student Support is paramount. Today, ‘Student Support’ is at the forefront of the Industry, particularly given the results of English Australia’s 2018 Survey focussing on student well-being and the ensuing forums presented on this very issue. In this presentation, I will talk about how I have successfully transformed our Independent Learning Centre and created a Learning Hub to which students flock.  I will demonstrate how, through collaboration, the students become engaged as their individual needs are understood and met. I will share the strategies and programs I have devised which cater to ‘at-risk’ students, where they participate in tutorials in a safe, student community environment.  These programs focus on both language proficiency and university readiness.  I will share ways in which we can help our learners to adapt, as they prepare for future study and a successful career. The audience will gain an understanding of approaches students respond to.  They will get practical ideas on how to provide an integrated and holistic support service for students.  It’s not just about learning English.  It’s about understanding the students’ future goals and facilitating student readiness, which gives them the Edge to a fulfilling career.


Katie’s extensive ELICOS teaching experience stems from 10 years working with students on a pathway to further studies at Swinburne University in Melbourne.  She teaches across a range of programs, including General English and English for Academic Purposes (EAP).  Following a stint as EAP Facilitator, Katie took up the role of ILC Coordinator at Swinburne, where she has successfully re-invented the Centre, providing tutorials to assist both ‘at-risk’ and high achieving students.  In April, she presented at the 2019 UECA (University English Centres Australia) Conference in Sydney, sharing her strategies in re-inventing this student support centre within Swinburne.

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