This year has been like no other for Year 12 students. Home schooling for months, coupled with the uncertainty around returning to school, exam timetables and assessments have made the last year of school a challenging time for many.
Thanks to a new program at Southern Cross University however, high school students and recent school leavers have a smooth pathway to university available to them.
Aptly named Transition to Uni, this six-week intensive program comprises two units, one that develops time and self-management as well as academic literacy skills; and one that is a combined science and maths unit where students learn fundamental scientific and mathematical concepts.
SCU College Director of Teaching and Learning Dr Suzi Syme said the course was developed in response to requests from local schools. “We were asked to create a preparatory course for students who don’t achieve the ATAR they need to get into their degree of their choice, but the course also functions as a way to manage the change from secondary school to university learning, as it requires high-level engagement and self-management over the six weeks,” she said.
From the cool climes of Victoria to the Gold Coast sunshine, Transition to Uni graduate Drew Green knew he was ready to make the move north to study. What he wasn’t too sure about was if he was ready for university and the demands of a double degree in Sport and Exercise Science and Law. “Transition to Uni was perfect for me. It was two days a week study and we covered the basics like Blackboard and a lot of technical aspects which meant that when I started uni I was in front, not behind. I also had the confidence that I was ready to tackle uni.”
Training, studying full-time and also working as a swimming teacher and lifeguard means that Drew does not have a lot of time to spare. The time management skills he learnt in Transition to Uni have proved invaluable. “Living away from home and training such a lot there are a lot more demands on my time, and I have to manage it carefully. Learning those skills early on was really good,” he said.
Drew hopes to pursue a career in contract law, specialising in professional sport contracts. “It means knuckling down for a few years but I think it’s worth it – there is a growing demand for specialists in this area and I’m excited to see what lies ahead,” he said.
Dr Syme said that other preparatory courses, such as the University’s long-running Preparing for Success at SCU Program (PSP) – which like, Transition to Uni, is also fee-free – had proved time and time again their worth. “We have seen historically that PSP graduates perform better than students with ATARs in terms of GPA and success at university. We expect to see the same with these new Transition to Uni graduates,” she added.
Kayla Latter graduated high school without an ATAR but that didn’t mean university and her dream of becoming a teacher was out of the question. She completed the Transition to Uni course over summer and began a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education(Primary/Early Childhood) in February at the Coffs Harbour campus.
Having now completed Session 1, Kayla has applied all the new knowledge and skills she gained in Transition to Uni. “I gained a greater understanding of how to do certain aspects of uni, in particular with assignments, which is now a huge time saver. The course also helped me a lot in knowing how to reference and use the Southern Cross resources properly.”
“I would highly recommend the Transition to Uni course as it gives you an immediate advantage when starting your degree, also it’s a great way to meet new people,” she said.
Learn more about Transition to Uni
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