Face & Space offers new opportunities in Oamaru

News News & events

20 Jun 2018

Oamaru educator Tim McEvoy is optimistic that the new Face & Space project at Ara Institute of Canterbury’s Oamaru campus will match the community’s requirements.

“It brings a really broad portfolio of courses that the community hasn’t had easy access to before. It’s basically individual learning with individual support,” McEvoy says.

Face & Space offers a community connection, a physical learning space and practical support from McEvoy for online programmes and blended (combining online and face to face learning) programmes. The pilot project launches this Thursday 21 June with a drop-in session from 4.30 – 6.30pm at the Oamaru Campus at 44 Humber Street.  

McEvoy has 17 years of experience in education, including five years with Ara and its predecessor Aoraki Polytechnic. He specialises in numeracy and literacy, and careers guidance and has already helped a number of people to choose study pathways in the lead up to the Face & Space launch this week.

Face & Space is powered by Ara’s connection to the national TANZ e-campus network, which provides a wide range of online learning. Ara will offer 19 programmes at the Oamaru campus across Business, Retail, Project Management, Administration & Technology, Computing & IT and Teacher Education. Computing for Free returns to the campus and barista training will also be offered on brand new coffee machines.

Some 80 courses within programmes can be completed individually.

“With TANZ you can cherry pick courses depending on what you need. There is also real flexibility with many courses offered on monthly starts. Previously we had the typical February and July intakes, but with Face & Space there are rolling intakes, as well as drop-in sessions for Computing for Free. That is just what we need here because a lot of people have seasonal work in this community, and most of our learners are working, and juggling work and family commitments, so they need flexibility to have success in their learning.”

While some learners will happily progress through a course online on their own, research shows that others are more successful when they have a real person to encourage and guide them. McEvoy is excited about providing that service, along with student services and enrolments support, and “creating a different type of community on the campus, all doing different programmes”.

“We are in this world where it’s all online. Once people get to grips with the model then they are quite enthusiastic about the offerings knowing that there is a real person to walk along beside them. We are walking beside them from enrolment to graduation.”

Face & Space also provides quiet learning spaces with computers, wifi access and even a cup of coffee.  

The response so far has been positive. “We’ve gone out and spoken to the community and there is a positive universal response to the way we are offering learning that seems to be aligned with the community.”

Ara Face & Space is at 44 Humber Street Oamaru. Talk to Tim McEvoy to learn more about the support provided to ensure your study success on 03 940 6151 or visit www.ara.ac.nz.