TAFE has always been a great pathway for students who haven’t completed year 12 to move into vocational-type study or to use as a means to ultimately make it to university.
It’s heartening to learn of universities extending their student services and offering lapsed or older students pathways towards their preferred university career.
One such institution, University of South Australia (UniSA), runs a Foundation Studies program that achieves just this aim – paving a way for local graduates that haven’t completed year 12 or those looking to return to study.
Recently, during a presentation ceremony held during UniSA Orientation Week , three Foundation Studies graduates from 2014 were each presented with high achiever awards.
Only students who achieve a Grade Point Average of more than 6.5 qualify for such an accolade and two of the winners, Kirsty O’Connor and Kylie Grimm mentioned that they were proud to forge new ground for others wanting to get back into study.
“It was educational, fun and challenging,” Ms Grimm said.
“But it also helped me to the point where I thought ‘yes, I can do this’.”
Typical of the students who enrol in the Foundation Studies program, Ms Grimm didn’t complete year 12 but chose to study a certificate IV in aged care whilst working in an aged care facility.
After some time and realising that her qualifications wouldn’t allow her to move into her desired career of palliative care and mental health she enrolled the UniSA program. The course effectively was the bridge she needed to start a nursing degree at the university.
Ms O’Connor’s path was slightly different in that she did complete year 12 however she went straight into fulltime work. When her hours were cut back to part time she decided to utilise the extra time with study.
“For me, part of doing foundations was deciding what I wanted to study, what course was right for me,” she said.
Ms Connor discovered that she wanted to become a teacher during the Foundations Studies program as she delved into a career journey subject.
Both women are already into their first semesters and are thankful of the assistance the program gave them. They recognise and use the knowledge that they picked up in the Foundations Studies program as a continued reference as they grow into their new careers.