A refreshed suite of study programmes will give EIT’s sport and exercise students more opportunities to work on projects that will benefit Hawke’s Bay.
In developing a new structure for its Level 3 to 9 programmes, the School of Health and Sport Science challenged its teaching staff to consider the needs of the wider Hawke’s Bay Community.
“We want our students to be work-ready and to lead, manage and inspire solutions, ready to make change in our community,” head of school Kirsten Westwood points out.
With this in mind, the school consulted its advisory group and organisations already providing students with opportunities for industry placements.
Now more extensive consultation is underway – with schools, sporting codes, iwi, gyms, contacts made through student placements, the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, graduates and others with an interest in strengthening the programme offerings.
Welcoming the “very positive response” to that, Kirsten says the outcome is a new direction that is breaking open the traditional model for learning.
Project-based programmes will offer students at all levels a more holistic, integrated and in-depth way of learning that is aligned to community needs.
The school will invite proposals for local community projects. “It could be about the health needs of expectant mothers, fundamental movement skills for primary school pupils, athlete or
sport team development, promoting access to recreation to those with disability, tailoring individual exercise programmes – it could be anything,” says Kirsten.
“The students will start with a proposal, source the relevant expertise and progress the project. We expect their work will leave a legacy in our community.
“In the past, only the final-year Bachelor of Recreation and Sport students have undertaken project-based learning for their mandatory industry cooperative course. We want to broaden that approach, developing student skills as they progress through their whole course of study.”
A project might involve any number of students, with third-year degree students benefitting from mentoring first-year students. The restructured programme framework will create strong pathways, allowing students to navigate their own direction as they progress or enter study at any level, from certificate through to diploma, bachelor degree, postgraduate and master’s studies at EIT.
“We are looking at developing new courses in the Master of Health Science to reflect that, and already have two new entry-level programmes shaped up for next year,” Kirsten says of the Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Sport, Recreation and Exercise and the Level 4 Certificate in Exercise.