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Students' perceptions of a quality preparatory program at an Australian regional university : success through changing worldviews

Recognising the unique demographic attributes of the Central Queensland region and the low participation rates in tertiary education of its citizens, CQUniversity (CQU) in 1986 introduced the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) program, which is designed for adult learners returning to study, often after many years’ absence. Within CQU, the definition of ‘quality’ is ‘fitness for purpose’ and STEPS aims to deliver a quality program that gives adult learners the skills for success in tertiary studies. These skills, which balance the academic and the personal, assist students to shed unproductive worldviews that may have hindered past study. This chapter seeks to answer the research question: Do ex-STEPS students perceive that participating in the STEPS program increased their chances of success in undergraduate study, and did they have an advantage over their direct entry counterparts? Three themes are explored: academic skills, transformational learning and lecturers’ teaching. The research reveals that students believed that the STEPS program is a quality program, and that both the development of academic and personal skills and the transformation of restrictive worldviews had increased students’ probability of success in undergraduate study.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)



McConachie J; Singh M; Danaher PA; Nouwens F; Danaher G

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Post Pressed

Place of Publication

Teneriffe, Qld

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Division of Teaching and Learning Services; Griffith University; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Number of Chapters