High school students get a head start into University

Published 9 February 2012

SCU Head-Start students Nada van Kempen, Sonny Thomas, Ellyssa McGinley
Southern Cross University has welcomed the first group of senior high school students who are embarking on their tertiary studies through a new and innovative program, SCU Head-Start.

SCU Head-Start has been designed to give exceptional Years 11 and 12 students across the University’s footprint, from Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast, the opportunity to complete a unit of university study while still at school.

Students who successfully complete the program will be offered a place in a select number of Southern Cross University courses and receive advanced standing.

This week the SCU Head-Start students attended a tailored pre-Orientation session on campus. Next week they will take part in Orientation activities alongside other first year University students.

Danielle Fisher, project officer for SCU Head-Start and an experienced secondary school teacher, said 49 students were starting their studies this session.

“We are excited to be welcoming the first cohort of SCU Head-Start students to the University this year.”

Applications for 2012 exceeded expectations. Of the 96 senior high school students applying for a position from more than 30 secondary schools and colleges, 54 offers were made.

“We were impressed by the number of students applying for the program as well as the level of academic excellence displayed in the applications,” Ms Fisher said.

“The application process was competitive and those students who have been successful now have the opportunity to challenge themselves academically.

“It’s pleasing to see such a high standard of students emerging from our local high schools.”

SCU Head-Start has been designed to fit in with most high school timetables. Two units of study are available through the program, with each unit mapping to a variety of undergraduate degrees. The program is exempt of University fees.
Photo: (left to right) 16-year-old Nada van Kempen who's in Year 11 at Ballina High; Year 11 student Sonny Thomas, 16, from Trinity Catholic College; and Ballina High Year 12 student Ellyssa McGinley, 17, have been selected for the SCU Head-Start program.

Media contact: Sharlene King media officer, Southern Cross University Lismore, 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349.