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Swinburne’s STARS Program

Swinburne STARS in Victorian Schools

The Swinburne Teachers and Regional (remote and low socioeconomic) Schools (STARS) is a program for pre-service teachers as part of the Access Quality Teaching Initiative, funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Training. This program provides valuable experience to students studying the Bachelor of Education (Primary), Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary), Master of Teaching (Primary) and Master of Teaching (Secondary).

The STARS program places pre-service teachers in professional experience placements in regional, remote and/or lower socio-educational advantage schools in Victoria, giving access to particular educational communities and development opportunities on their path to becoming a teacher.


Enhance your teaching skills

As part of the STARS program, you will:

  • Be part of a community with other pre-service teachers, schools and education experts.
  • Be supported while learning around different communities, people, cultures and identities.
  • Develop strong teaching skills to inform and support you in the classroom, including a focus on trauma-informed pedagogy. You will undertake an adaptable curriculum and simulated VR classroom practice experiences to support and develop your skills as a teacher.
  • Have an academic mentor and school mentor who will support you throughout the program, especially during professional experience placements.
  • Have access to unique graduate opportunities for employment.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria for the STARS program consists of academic performance and non-academic attributes. This provides a well-rounded assessment that supports excellent teaching and encourages development of the AITSL professional standards.

The STARS program has rigorous and culturally responsive selection criteria. Non-academic attributes are highly regarded to help build long-term teacher self-efficacy, which leads to stronger capabilities for teaching in regional, remote and low socioeconomic schools.

Successful applicants will express empathy, commitment and strong communication skills.

Application process

Pre-service teachers based in Victoria who are continuing students in the eligible courses will receive an email from us outlining how to provide your application to us.

In your application, please address and provide:

  • Demonstration of Credit or above performance in by providing your academic transcript, showing:

Units of study:

  • Undergraduate: EDU10005 and EDU10004
  • Postgraduate: EDU60017 and EDU80012


  • Evidence of a credit or above average in all units completed so far


  • Evidence of improvement in grades over progression of units


  • No units have been failed in the Initial Teacher Education program.


Successful completion of professional experience units to date is required.

Provide your mentor reports from your prior placements.


Provide your LANTITE ACER test results showing your successful completion of both components of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) test.

Along with this documentation, please include: Two-to-three-minute video on teaching philosophy and commitment to regional, remote and low socioeconomic communities. Please submit as an attached file, or a shared link to a file (this could be a private YouTube link, or cloud folder storage platform, for example).

Skills assessed: Communication, empathy and commitment.

  • Students can also submit an optional reference letter as part of their application.



The STARS program commences mid-year 2022 (TP2, Q3).
This opportunity is only open to 75 students and therefore a rigorous selection process will take place.
This program will run alongside your current units of study. You will be enrolled into a STARS program unit. The unit is at no cost to you. Introductions to the STARS program are planned to commence in late May/early June. The STARS unit will commence from June. There are five modules of additional study and activities supported by academic teacher mentors. Engagement with the modules will be periodic, and is planned to occur between June to October 2022. The workload per module is anticipated to be approximately 10 hours over two to three weeks for each module. More specific details will be provided to successful applicants.
During the year the program runs (mid-year 2022 to mid-year 2023), you must undertake both remaining placements (or the one remaining), in your course during this time.
The STARS program placement schools can be in regional and rural or low socioeconomic schools in Victoria that will be selected by Swinburne, with pre-service teachers matched to schools.
Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) will be supporting Swinburne to access and source the placement schools on your behalf.
Provided your secured placement is in regional, rural or low socioeconomic Victorian school and you have been successful in your STARS application, Swinburne can support negotiations with your placement setting to ascertain if they wish to be part of the program.
No, we will work with the schools upon a successful application.
We will be open to discuss this with you further.
No, all costs associated with travel or accommodation will be incurred by the pre-service teacher. We hope to match pre-service teachers with a school in their area. If you are a successful applicant, and there may be travel involved for you to get to the school. We will discuss with you the situation before matching you to the school.
You will receive a certificate of completion outlining your completion of the program. This certificate will be a valuable addition to your resume when applying for graduate teaching positions.
The STARS modules remain open all the time, so you will be able to complete the module work at a time that suits you. There are five modules, each with approximately 1.5–2 hours of reading and activities. Allow 7.5–10 hours in total to complete the STARS modules.
Swinburne will try to match you to a school as close as possible to your usual place of residence. The maximum travel time from your home to the school will be 90 minutes however, every endeavour will be made to try to ensure it is less than this.
You will be able to complete your final two placements through the STARS program at your school. You will also be able to continue with PTT across the year. For example, it may be that you have a split, perhaps three days in STARS and two days in PTT. The STARS part would need to be supervised and would also allow you to do the GTPA (final placement assessment). After you have submitted your application for the STARS program, please reach out to Jade on this email address: and she will be able to assist you in negotiating this with your school.
The STARS professional placements are part of the required professional placements in your course. They are not extra placements.
All students enrolled into the STARS program will receive a $900 Stipend to assist with the cost of their study or professional placement.