REAL Options







Return to Education and Learning . R.E.A.L Training Options For Students who have experienced mental health difficulties.


About the Program

Wodonga TAFE has a long history of developing training programmes that directly meet the needs of local students. The foundation Studies Department has developed strong community links to address the needs of students with learning difficulty, providing not only vocational training but also learning pathways into higher education and employment. Outcomes for students with mental health issues have improved dramatically with the unique introduction of courses over the past 12 years specifically designed to give students with psychiatric disability a fresh start in education and employability skills within an open learning but supportive environment.

Other benefits of the REAL Options step by step approach to learning have included further training not only at TAFE, but also university, and students gaining employment as a direct result of vocational planning.


REAL Options is a collection of work education units offered at Wodonga TAFE , designed to assist students with a psychiatric disability to have a ‘real TAFE experience’ and attain the confidence to pursue further education or vocational pathways. At a Certificate 1 level learning outcomes can be adapted to suit group and individual training needs. Course content is built around the skill requirements of student groups and individual study requirements. A teaching / learning model of staged self-directed learning is practiced for all groups.

Community and student consultation to identify learning needs;- REAL Options was developed through community and individual consultation and course content is based directly on reported interests and needs. REAL Options student referrals are received via stakeholder groups such as mental health agencies and support services. Student enrolments occur via an expression of interest and an informal non-intrusive interview with the course co-ordinator.


Students participating in REAL Options and related foundation studies courses, gain qualifications that are recognised and can be put toward further study. A mutually consensual support network is developed for each student and may include teachers, support staff and agency representatives. Individual learning plans are also developed and are focused on pathway planning and personal goals.


Supportive transitional options ;- It is the aim of Wodonga TAFE to accommodate adult learners with a psychiatric condition in a non-discriminatory fashion and to provide supportive transitional options to assist learners to gain further training and or vocational pursuits.




Real options;- programme


  REAL OPTIONS  – Return to Education and Learning , providing vocational pathways for students who have experienced difficulties with mental health.
  22128VIC Certificate I in Work Education
Units. Course Name:-                     Term 1 – Building Bridges
VU20438 Develop an individual vocational plan with support
TLIE1003A Participate in basic workplace communication
TLIG1001A Work effectively with others

Course Name:-                     Term 2 – In Readiness

VU20439 Develop personal management skills for work
BSBWHS201A Contribute to health and safety of self and others
CHCVOL201B Be an effective volunteer

Course Name:-                     Term 3 –Testing 1,2,3 or 7 ?

VU20440 Participate in vocational tasters/activities
Course Name:-                     Term 4 – Moving on and up.
VU21307 Work with numbers and money in simple familiar situations
VU20009 Participate in Job seeking activities
VU20441 Participate in practical placement with support


Term 1 Building Bridges.

An eight week short course two days per week. 9.30am to 3pm.

  • Personal and Vocational goal setting.
  • Exploring adult education options
  • Basic skills development in workplace communication and computer operations.
  • Teamwork and workplace skills in project development.
  • A clear plan at the end of the short course that describes ‘ what comes next’ .


Term 2 – In Readiness

Term two offers two days per week the opportunity to practice work skills and explore industry. Students will have the opportunity to also begin to implement goals set in term one and explore vocational pathways and personal planning. Students will also receive training in volunteering , occupational health and safety and prepare to engage in practical placements.


Term 3 –Testing 1,2,3 or 7 ?

Participate in vocational tasters/activities via volunteer and negotiated work experience.


Term 4 – Moving on and up.

  • Team project activities.
  • Continued practical work skills development
  • Active job seeking and or meaningful activity pursuits.
  • Costings for personal and group project budgets.

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