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The term Habilitation refers to the process of enabling people with disabilities to develop skills and participate fully in the community. Habilitation is an ongoing process which enhances the quality of life of people with disabilities and empowers them towards self-determination.

The need to provide appropriate training and education to staff working in service provision to people with disabilities has been a response to the major changes taking place in the field. These changes are evidenced through the legislative and policy changes at both State and Commonwealth levels, which aim to ensure that the philosophy of social justice for people with disabilities is put into practice.

A philosophy of respect for human worth and dignity for all people is reflected in the mission of Australian Catholic University, and underpins all courses in Habilitation. People with disabilities:

·       are individuals who have the inherent right to respect for their human worth and dignity;

·       whatever the origin, nature, type and degree of disability, have the same fundamental rights as all other members of Australian society;

·       have the same rights as other members of Australian society to services which will support their attaining an acceptable quality of life;

·       have the same rights as other members of Australian society to participate in the decisions which affect their lives;

·       have the same rights as other members of Australian society to the least restrictive alternative in the services they receive;

·       have the same right of pursuit of any grievance as have other members of Australian society in relation to the services which they receive.

The courses acknowledge both the quality of support which reflects the pastoral dimension of the Christian ethos and the educational principles of teaching and learning. Habilitation is based on the developmental principle which holds that all people have the capacity to grow and learn in their own way. The course emphasises the community integration of children and adults with disabilities.

The Diploma in Education (Habilitation) is available to people who are already working in, or people who are interested in working in, community-based organisations which provide a service to people with a disability. Students who complete the Diploma in Education (Habilitation) may enrol in a third year of study to complete the Bachelor of Education (Habilitation) degree. The Bachelor of Education (Habilitation) builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the Diploma in Education (Habilitation).

The Faculty also conducts a course in this area at the graduate level. The Graduate Certificate in Habilitation provides ongoing and appropriate training and education for people working in services which provide support to people with disabilities. Many people working in Habilitation services have tertiary qualifications in disciplines other than Habilitation, and/or extensive informal learning gained from years of experience, but have no professional qualifications in the Habilitation area. This course meets the needs of such people.

The Habilitation specialisation within the Master of Education (Human Relations and Community Education) provides education for staff working in service provision to people with disabilities. The course emphasises the community integration of children and adults with disabilities. It caters for students whose aim is to enhance the human potential and professional effectiveness of individuals in schools, communities and organisations, especially those in marginal groups. This development is based upon an analysis of people and their contexts and is responsive to issues of justice.

Students may also be considered for enrolment in the Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy at some campuses to undertake research in the area of Adult and Community Education. Further information on these programs may be found in the Higher Degrees section in this handbook.

The Doctor of Education is a professional degree which includes advanced studies in a chosen field of education, together with research and application in an area of educational professional practice, policy or administration. It is designed to meet the needs of practitioners who occupy or will occupy positions of influence within the educational community. The course will enable them to exercise with confidence leadership roles that require depth of knowledge, research and professional skills, and the ability to apply these skills to the fields in which they work. Further information on these programs may be found in the Higher Degrees section in this handbook.

Admission

Diploma in Education (Habilitation)

Applicants normally will be people already working in, or interested in working in, community-based organisations which provide a service to people with a disability. Entry to the course is by direct application to The ACU National Admissions Section at the Brisbane Campus. Refer to the ‘Direct Entry Application’ .

Bachelor of Education (Habilitation)

Entry is available to students who have successfully completed the Diploma in Education (Habilitation). Entry to the course is by direct application to The ACU National Admissions Section at the Brisbane Campus. Refer to the ‘Direct Entry Application’ .

Graduate Certificate in Habilitation

Applicants will normally have tertiary qualifications in disciplines other than Habilitation and extensive informal learning gained from years of experience, but will have no professional qualifications in the Habilitation area. Entry to the course is by direct application to The ACU National Admissions Section at the Brisbane Campus. Refer to the ‘Direct Entry Application’ .

Master of Education (Human Relations and Community Education)

Applicants normally require a first degree in Education, including either completion of substantial components relevant to the program which the applicant wishes to follow or relevant work experience or a first degree in an area other than Education and a postgraduate Diploma in Education, including either completion of substantial components relevant to the program to be undertaken or relevant work experience.

 Master of Philosophy

Candidates must have an appropriate undergraduate degree with Honours, or an equivalent qualification from a recognised university at a level acceptable to ACU National. For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees section in this handbook.

Doctor of Philosophy

Candidates must have an appropriate undergraduate degree with Honours, or an equivalent qualification from a recognised university at a level acceptable to ACU National. For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees section in this handbook.

Doctor of Education

Applicants would normally have completed a Master’s degree in Education and appropriate studies in research methods and in the Habilitation area of study in which the applicant intends to enrol. For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees section in this handbook.

Special Admission Diploma in Education (Habilitation) and Bachelor of Education (Habilitation)

Applicants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent are specifically encouraged to apply and are selected on the basis of an interview with staff of the Yalbalinga Aboriginal Support Unit in New South Wales.

Special Admission - to the Bachelor program

All applicants must apply by completing a questionnaire and by attending a subsequent interview. Adult applicants are considered for admission on the basis of additional criteria other than academic qualifications, ie. demonstrated experience in the field and field-based professional development. The questionnaire is available from the Student Centre in August/September.


HABILITATION COURSES

Campus

Course

Ballarat VIC

Melbourne VIC

Aquinas

St Patrick's

·       no programs available

Brisbane QLD

McAuley at Banyo

·       no programs available

Canberra ACT

Signadou

·       no programs available

Strathfield NSW

Mount Saint Mary

·       Diploma in Education (Habilitation)

·       Bachelor of Education (Habilitation)

·       Graduate Certificate in Habilitation
 (not offered in 2003)

·       Master of Education

(Human Relations and Community Education)

·       Master of Philosophy

·       Doctor of Philosophy

·         Doctor of Education