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Degree course opens doors


8 August 2003
A former pastry cook with three young children, who is now nearing the end of a four-year teaching degree, is encouraging prospective mature-age students to go back to the books.

Stan Baric, who is doing a four-year Bachelor of Technology Education honours degree at Southern Cross University in Coffs Harbour, has already landed a job with a prestigious secondary school in Tasmania.

Mr Baric, 38, said he decided to study because he wanted a career that offered a better quality of life for his wife and three young children.

“Having my own kids made me realise the importance of an education and that the input that you have into children does makes a difference. Teaching gives you the chance to give something back,” Mr Baric said.

During his study Mr Baric has worked as a teacher’s aid at the Orara High School and completed a research project based on helping students with disabilities.

“The research project part of the degree was a big plus as far as getting a job with the school was concerned.”

He said technacy education was the major focus of the SCU degree, which taught information and other areas of technology studies in a more holistic way. The aim is to enable students to be more flexible and adaptive in how they apply new technologies.

“The whole world is changing so dramatically. If you can’t get kids to adapt and be flexible it will be hard for them to assimilate.

“It’s been a really positive experience for me. It’s given me direction and a career in which I feel comfortable and happy. The course is progressive and innovative and provides a graduate teacher with the ability to be flexible and adaptable in an education setting.”

Dr Seemann, senior lecturer and co-ordinator of the new Bachelor of Technology Education (Honours) degree said the new degree was ‘futures orientated’.

“It demands a great deal of its undergraduates to be creative, thorough in their understanding of technology and capable as rounded technology educators. A very high proportion (about 50 per cent) of our graduates achieve targeted graduate ratings from independent NSW DET interviews of our final year students,” Dr Seemann said.

“Our course trains all students in a broad range of mandatory technologies and design, plus one of three strands in food technology and textiles, engineering studies with skills in emerging graphics and workshop technologies and information technologies. It also provides recognised VET training pathways for those who want it.”

Dr Seemann said Stan and other students were outstanding advocates for the course.

“We are a creative lot introducing radical new teaching knowledge and skills in understanding and applying technologies in ways no other course does.

“This is due to the high standards of our academic staff who bring research into the teaching of units and who are themselves linked to real world projects in schools and beyond. It enables us to reward good graduates with Honours that can open doors for long term career value - rare in technology education degrees these days,” Dr Seemann said.

Mr Baric said despite having three young children at home he found he could manage to fit in study and part-time work and the family was able to maintain the quality of life they were used to.

He will take up his position at the Calvin Secondary School in Kingston, Tasmania, early next year.

Information on the Bachelor of Education Technology will be available at the SCU Open Day from 4pm to 8pm next Tuesday, 12 August, in the Osprey Restaurant at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus, Hogbin Drive.

Media contact: Media Liaison, Southern Cross University, Ph: 02 6620 3144.