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Parent and Supporter Information

Learn about how to help your teenager pick the right course, pursuing a career in sport, transitioning to higher education, and important information all parents/supporters need to know

The going-to-university-experience is like no other. As a parent or supporter you’ll be proud, and you’ll want to support the process. It is only natural that you will have concerns about your teen and where they go. You play a crucial role in helping your teen select a higher education provider and a course.

Your questions about a higher education institution might be a little different to those of your teen. While of course, you’ll want to know that your teen will receive a world class education, you may also like to know more about things such as student support services, career outcomes, and how we cater for the overall health and well-being of our students. This page will help you navigate the process.

How can I help them make the right choice of course and institution?

With so many courses and institutions, it can become confusing. Here are few points to consider:

1. They should study in a field that really interests them, rather than what interests you as the parent. We have found over the years, that students who are passionate about sport but are forced into other courses based on their parent’s decisions, tend to fail or drop out. It is important for students to be passionate about their field and their aspirations.

2. Be open to new careers that may seem unfamiliar to you. The world is changing and so should the careers to prepare them for the future. There are new jobs being created in fields that didn’t exist five years ago.

3. Don’t be blinded by research rankings and marketing spin. What matters is the quality of the undergraduate experience, the quality of the learning and teaching, support and resourcing. You can compare these Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching by looking at the ComparEd website. Compare providers and their scores. These scores are based on actual student feedback and who better to provide insight on what to expect than students who have been there?

We are proud to say that ACPE is in the top 15 across all providers (universities and private institutions) and scores significantly higher than the national average and our direct competitors.

4. Visit Open Days and Experience days – these events provide valuable opportunities to speak with the academic, support and admissions staff. It also gives you the opportunity to explore the campus.

5. At ACPE we do not look at students’ ATAR – in fact we don’t look at the ATAR at all. We look at them more holistically and evaluate their individual subject performance and assess their suitability for particular courses.

6. Be mindful that a large institution does not necessarily mean that it is better. We are proudly different – we are smaller but we get to know our students very well. We are a smaller provider with a big heart. We have been in the industry for more than 105 years and we know our approach works.

Is it realistic to pursue a career in sport?

We often encounter questions about whether there are career opportunities in sport for students who are not elite athletes. Rest assured, it is a large and growing industry with a vast range of opportunities.

A recent KPMG report on the Australian Sports Industry Economic Analysis (2020) highlighted that the Australian Sports Industry generates approximately $32.2 billion in annual sales resulting in a contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately $14.4 billion and supporting approximately 128,000 jobs. The industry is growing year on year. Additionally the Commonwealth Government released Australia’s first national sport plan, Sport 2030. The plan details four priorities for the sector:

  1. To build a more active Australia;
  2. Achieve sporting excellence;
  3. Safeguard the integrity of sport, and
  4. Strengthen the Australian Sport industry.

There are a multitude of careers underpinning the deliverables of this strategy which require skilled graduates. With the Olympics and Paralympics of 2032, there is expected to be further exponential growth in the sector.

Watch our Alumni Success Spotlight video featuring physiotherapy doctorate student Jackson Foster.

What every parent / supporter needs to know

The transition – higher education is different from high school – Your teen is now an adult and have to be accountable for their academic attendance, performance, engagement and behaviour. Because our primary relationship as an institution is with the student, you will find that academic staff or college staff will not be in a position to provide you with any information about their academic progress or performance without their written consent due to the Privacy Laws. Some parents recognise this as a positive step in their teen’s development but some may wrestle with the idea that their teen suddenly has to take responsibility for themselves and they no longer have the ability to step in and set things right.

We recognise the importance of establishing partnerships with parents of our students, particularly in their first year. Many students find it difficult to adapt to the rigours of higher education and parents/supporters play a vital role in supporting them through this transition. 

Below are some practical ways you can help your teen transition and adapt to higher education, as well as ACPE provided resources that you can rely on to further assist your teen while they are on-campus.

There is a substantial difference between high school and higher education. Starting higher education is both exciting and stressful. Remind them that just because it isn’t perfect straight away, it can take time to find your feet. Give it a few weeks and most students settle quickly.

As undergraduate students, they are treated as young adults. While we desire the success of every student, the responsibility lies with the student to realise his or her potential by making appropriate choices about things like attending classes regularly, staying up to date with content on student Canvas, preparing in advance for tests and submitting assessments on time.

Ensure that they attend Orientation (O-Week).  During this time, we share vital information with new students about a range of important aspects of their studies to set them up for success. They will learn about how things are done, where to go for help, and what to do when situations arise that my affect their studies or their wellbeing.  Students who attend Orientation Week are generally better prepared and find their feet faster.

Communicate with your teen about the various implications of higher education, such as the cost of higher education and taking responsibility for their learning.

In many instances, first year students experience higher education life as offering unaccustomed freedom and they are unsure how to respond. This may become problematic if they make wrong and inappropriate choices.  Talk about this as well.

Students who have clear goals for the future are often the most successful ones. Encourage them to discuss their expectations and aspirations with you.

During the first few weeks, they will be introduced to a range of activities, opportunities and support systems. Encourage them to ask our team for assistance or support if they feel lost or overwhelmed.

Talk to your teen and encourage them to be independent. If your teen is encountering challenges, resist the urge to get involved until they have done everything they can to resolve the problem. Direct them to the appropriate support services on campus so that we can assist; we are here to help.

Discuss the importance of maintaining a good balance between academic and social life.

Remind them to check the due dates of their assignments and that they cannot leave things to the last minute. Those who succeed do some study every day and stay on top of things.

It is also vital to pay attention to important dates on the college calendar. Census dates in particular are important.  If a student is enrolled in a unit past census date of the relevant semester, they will incur financial penalties if they withdraw after census.

We will be monitoring your teen’s progress, particularly in the first few weeks. If we recommend that they reduce their study load, this may be because they are not coping with the full study load and may need to focus on fewer units to ensure that they succeed.

It is always better to do fewer units and pass, than fail them. Please support our recommendations and know that they are always made in the best interests of our students.