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“We must not only act, but also dream.”


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“We must not only act, but also dream.”

Scott Bregmen (quoted above), tutor on the Community and Vocational Learning Support (CVLS) programme congratulated students graduating today at the Wellington Institute of Technology. Scott, who received an Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award in August this year, commented that there is no other way to live, but through learning. 14 students graduated with the Certificate in Community and Vocational Learning at WelTec’s Petone campus.

One of the graduates and co-recipient of the WelTec Student Association Student Diligence Award, Rene Bunker thanked her family and the WelTec team for their support and encouragement throughout the year-long programme. (Rene is pictured with Scott Bregmen.) The other recipient of this Award for 2010 is Sharon Minchington.

The CVLS programme aims to equip students (who have a range of disabilities or specific learning needs such as an intellectual disability, sensory disability or mental illness) with key skills to move onto further learning or work. Students spoke at the graduation identifying their many achievements this year. These included navigating public transport, living independently, doing outdoor challenges such as abseiling and rafting and challenging themselves by learning strategies and gaining confidence to overcome their fears.

Chief Executive, Dr Linda Sissons addressed the 100-strong audience noting that the CVLS programme was very highly regarded by stakeholders as it provided the opportunity for students, who would not otherwise do so, to participate in tertiary education.

“The CVLS programme is one of the few remaining tertiary education programmes in New Zealand which specifically teaches students with special needs. This programme is fully integrated into the WelTec environment and has demonstrated a high achievement and success rate. With the skills students acquire by undertaking the CVLS programme many go on to further tertiary study and ultimately work”, said Dr Sissons.

Next year WelTec will approach government to discuss further support for the CVLS programme. “We are keen to offer more options to students and their families, but we need government funding to do so. We have a good case to make as there is strong demand for this programme from the community and our teaching staff are widely recognised for their skills.”


ENDS

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