THE Department of Education has overturned a decision to cut funding for Horsham College's re-engagement program at McKenzie Creek.
The department decided to cut the campus's annual special allocation funding following a review last year.
After college principal Frank Spiel launched an appeal, the department reviewed its decision and announced the college would receive $124,456 between 2014 and 2016.
As part of the review, the department spoke to the program's 20 current students, as well as four past students who have returned to mainstream classes.
Mr Spiel said the college put up a powerful fight for the funding.
"We put a really strong case forward with data and information in support of our submission," he said.
"What we highlighted was that McKenzie Creek is just one part of our overall re-engagement program, although it is an important part.
"It is a relatively expensive program to run because you have about 20 students in a special location but we were able to show the program's achievements.
"We used a book by the University of Ballarat's John Smyth and Peter McInerney Silent Witnesses to Active Agents that is based a lot on our re-engagement program to show the successes we have had."
The college must keep 20 students in the program each year and offer places to other Wimmera schools as part of funding conditions.
Mr Spiel said the re-engagement program aimed to improve confidence and prepare the students for a return to the college's mainstream classes.
"A lot of the program is about self-confidence, developing competency in literacy and numeracy and a focus on them being much more confident in their own capabilities," he said.
"One of the best assets we had during the review was the students who spoke about the benefits of being in the program.
"What became evident was the confidence with which they spoke and they talked about how they had more self confidence and had a real sense of belonging."
Mr Spiel said he hoped the program's funding would be secure after 2016.
"We now have a strong acceptance of the evidence base that is behind our initiatives," he said.
"You need to show evidence of what you are achieving, which I think is a good thing, and we have definitely done that."