The Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC) in South Africa shares this story about one of their students:
A student experience: PK, a member of the Zion Christian church and working in the security industry, applied to study in 2013 but did not meet the entrance requirement for accredited programmes. He returned in 2014 and opted to use the RPL route through the TEEC Access Assessment.
This instrument allows people, who do not meet formal entrance requirements, to demonstrate their current academic ability. This is evaluated and the College then invites successful candidates onto a range of our accredited programmes.
While PK’s school-leaving certificate did not provide access to higher education, as a man in his 50s with life and work experience he was able to demonstrate his current competencies. He gained access to the Higher Certificate in Theology programme, which he then started in 2015.
His first year was a difficult one in that he dropped out of all three courses, yet the results he did obtain for work submitted were good, and so he continued with those same three courses in 2016. Two were passed but one was failed. PK successfully completed three courses in the first semester of 2017, but in the following semester passed one course, failed one and dropped out of the third. Again, the work that was submitted was such that courses could be carried to 2018 where he completed the remaining four courses on the programme and graduated with his Higher Certificate in Theology.
For a person like PK the door to tertiary education is normally closed, but the TEEC Access Assessment is able to open it, and the nature of all our Higher Certificate programmes is such that people are able to build upon their successes while working across semesters to achieve the programme outcomes. All this while still dealing with the normal challenges of busy lives.
As a new graduate with an accredited qualification that is registered on the National Qualifications Framework the field wide was open for PK to study further at any South African institution. He opted to enroll in the TEEC Bachelor of Theology programme in 2019. He completed his first two courses, using the re-submission option to deal with failed work in a first assignment, with good final results. He is on track and doing well with his undergraduate degree, having honed his basic skills and competencies in the certificate programme.
PK is one of several people who use TEEC’s RPL mechanism to gain access to further study that had previously been denied them. This is why “Access” remains an important value for the College.
This story was published in the TEEC newsletter from December 2019. Access the full newsletter here.