With transition to university a strong focus across most higher

education institutions, undergraduate teacher education programs have been

increasingly scrutinised regarding their (in)ability to adequately prepare students

for the challenging social contexts that they will meet. As a result, there has been

a burgeoning of approaches which initiate beginning students. In the Education

Faculty of a regional Australian university, the FYI (First Year Infusion/For Your

Information) Program attempts to build capacity among pre-service students in a

supportive learning community. In an intentionally created context, the program

provides a Learning Circle approach to student support. Through consciously

infusing the value of “character” into the transition program, there is evidence of

tangible impacts upon students’ interactions in the learning process and their

commitment to course completion. Data are presented that suggest that students’

high quality interactions with peers and academic staff in an informal context are

vital to academic success, and that staff also benefit from this program. It would

suggest that the development of effective partnerships between all stakeholders is

paramount in helping to build capacity.



Link to publisher version (DOI)