Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE Youth Options Youth Outcomes (YOYO)

Hornsby Campus (Room DG06), 205 Pacific Hwy, Hornsby, NSW, 2077

Established in 1999, the Youth Options Youth Outcomes (YOYO) program, based at the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE, offers alternative Year 10 equivalent qualifications for young people who have disengaged from mainstream schooling. The program prepares students for entry into further studies or employment within a flexible, self-paced and supportive learning environment. In 2012, 100 students, aged between 15-19 years, were enrolled in the program. Students come from a range of socio-economic backgrounds and have often experienced barriers to education such as: learning difficulties, behavioural disorders, family breakdown, homelessness, psychological conditions, drug and alcohol abuse or pregnancy and motherhood.

How this program works

The YOYO program aims to meet the complex educational and social needs of students for whom the formal structure of schooling and traditional models of classroom management did not work. Adopting a flexible and inclusive model of learning, within a caring, non-threatening and supportive environment, the program helps to break the cycle of disengagement and inspire lifelong learning. Providing a hands-on approach to learning, enabling students to work at their own pace, the program includes core units comparable to the Board of Studies Year 10, as well as personal development workshops,art, and project based learning, mentoring and counselling. Students receive personalised help but are encouraged to become responsible for their own learning. The program works holistically with students focusing on academic, emotional health and social competencies, encouraging students to reach their potential. Anetwork of support agencies and organizations are linked to the program.

Based at the Hornsby TAFE campus, the core of the YOYO program is delivered in a purpose designed large room with lots of natural light, student computers, a white board and data projector. The tables and chairs are arranged in a café style.Full time, part time and flexible modes of study are available, and attendance hours are negotiated with the YOYO Coordinator. The program provides a relevant curriculum emphasising the interrelationships between subjects. Students have the opportunity to gain a Year 10 equivalent qualification (Cert I and II Skills for Work and Study (SWAT), Cert I Preparation for Work and Study, Cert II Foundations for Vocational and Further Study). Job seeking and work related skills, IT knowledge and skills, and literacy and numeracy skills are integrated into the program. Students may enrol at any point in the year after attending an interview via self-referral or referral by others.

Outcomes

Positive outcomes, indicating the success of this program, include: completion rates, credentialed attainment, transitions on to further study and/or employment, increased motivation to learn, and levels of self-respect and self-esteem, and benchmarking against similar programs.

Credentialed attainment: Since 1999, hundreds of young people have attained a Year 10 equivalent qualification through the program, including 50 students in 2011-2012.

Program wide achievements: In the 2012 graduate destinations survey, 100% of students said that the course gave them the knowledge and skills they needed and 96% of students said they would recommend the course to others.