Students return to study after 35 years, graduate from Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Leadership and Mentoring).
Working full-time and taking on study isn’t easy for anyone. To return to study after a 35 year break is both daunting and intimidating. This was a challenge that was overcome by several of the new graduates of the Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Leadership and Mentoring) program.
Nella Caccamo who did just this, is an example in how overcoming your own self-doubt can lead to personal achievement and growth. She spoke at the graduation ceremony about her journey and offered the following advice “if you have determination you can do anything you want” since completing the course she has taken on the role of an Acting Team Manager.
Nella is one of the 20 students who completed the innovative program from the 22 who started. Developed collectively between RMIT and Dental Health Services Victoria, the program was designed with full-time workers in mind. Dental Assistants from across Victoria, learnt through a mix of online and face-to-face learning. Face-to-face sessions were completed in blocks for minimum disruption to the student’s workplaces. The success of the program model is evident in the 90% completion rate, a staggering result for a predominately online program.
Julie McCormack Manager Clinical Education and Training, Dental Health Services Victoria spoke of how the two organisations worked closely to create a unique and agile program which was adapted throughout the delivery to support the education needs of the program participants.
It was evident in the speeches how close these students had become with the RMIT staff and with the mentees they guided as part of their studies. The graduates who spoke were proud of the achievements of those that they had guided and to have their work experience acknowledged.
Congratulations to the graduates and their families for supporting them in returning to study. The program has had a positive impact not only the participants but also on the hospital with student research projects being adopted with great success creating quality improvements in service delivery.