Checklist for allied health ‘upskillers’ balancing study and work
So you’ve decided to go back to studying, to improve your career options in psychology, counselling or social work? Choosing a course provider begins with checking out their study options and other benefits, for the best fit to your lifestyle.
It’s possible to balance paid work with study. You just need to ask the right questions before you enrol in a course, to assess their culture against your learning style.
Specialist learning providers
A small college that specialises in degrees for your field of work will offer a selection of study modes offering flexibility for busy people. Allied health professionals may prefer learning in a more intimate classroom environment, as it matches the sense of collaboration and community common to their line of work.
Below are some practical issues to cover with a course adviser when you’re shortlisting your study options.
Class size: does your personal style suit lecture hall learning, or classrooms with limited student numbers? Consider the learning environment if peer interaction and teacher access might have an impact on your progress.
Flexible study: check for part-time, full-time, on-campus, online study and mixed-mode options. Find out what’s involved in switching learning modes if your circumstances change, especially if you intend to fit study around paid work or family commitments over three years or more.
College culture: will lecturers know your name? Are they approachable in person or by email when you have questions about an assignment?
Student support: is help available for essay-writing, assessment techniques and time-management? Before enrolling, can you visit their student learning support website to browse online workshops and resources?
Budget control: is there a course fee payment plan to help you manage your finances for peace of mind while you study?
Coursework: do the units balance theory with practical learning? Are the degree’s subjects focused on your desired specialisation with relevance to the job market?
Digital platforms: are student online resources free to download and easy to use? Is there a dedicated IT help service for students?
Accredited courses: check for industry approval of psychology, counselling or social work degrees, Formal recognition by industry associations confirms the course provider prioritises public welfare and industry best-practice in teaching its allied health graduates.
Is studying for a new degree your next move to improve career prospects in psychology, social work or counselling? Explore ACAP’s specialised courses and flexible study options here.