Tertiary study: Barriers and benefits for health and human services professionals

Author: Amy Gibbons, University of Tasmania

Edition: Volume 53, Number 3, November 2013

Summary:   Results from two 2012 surveys exploring the barriers and benefits of tertiary study for staff within the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services suggest that encouraging staff engagement with further study benefits both the individual and the organisation. Respondents reported improved job performance, increased self-esteem and motivation to learn. Barriers associated with limited time and competing demands impacted on staff ability to access information about study options. In this context, workplace and management support for study was identified as a crucial enabler. The investigative process of this study has been made explicit in order to encourage replication by other researchers. This mixed-methods research was informed by the ‘three capitals’ approach in order to examine the personal, social and economic benefits of learning. The relative weakness of benefits associated with social capital in the results reflects the experience of these part-time mature-age students employed in a professionally demanding sector.

Keywords: adult learners, three capitals, tertiary study, health and human services,Tasmania

 

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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 53_3. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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