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Return to Study Made Easier


27 September 2005
Mature age people planning to study at university in 2006 have a chance to consolidate skills and boost confidence with Southern Cross University's Tertiary Preparation Course at the Lismore campus starting mid-October.

The program is for people considering a first venture to university or a return to study, and would like to upgrade or learn the academic skills for study.

Head of the SCU's Learning Assistance Unit Maria Simms said the program showed prospective students what was expected at university and enlightened them on research and essay writing.

"We focus on fundamental skills and find there's a marked progression for participants in the three-week timeframe of the course,' she said.

Matthew Cox, 38 a former mechanic from Goonellabah in Lismore, will complete his Bachelor of Applied Science in a year's time. He undertook SCU's Tertiary Preparation Course prior to commencing his degree and sees it as an essential first step.

"If you are older or it's a while since you have studied, it's the only thing to do. It meant from the word go I was reasonably confident of what was expected," he said.

"I can clearly remember some fellow students being uncertain about the first assignment we handed in and uncertain about their mark. I really didn't have that uncertainty. Doing the course doesn't stop all worry! But it means you start your degree with a much better understanding of what's required."

Ms Simms said the course could assist entry to university as successful completion could add extra points to an entry score for SCU. She said participants came from a range of backgrounds.

"We have carers and homemakers, people working in offices, trades and retail, and others looking for work. What they have in common is the decision to embark on a journey to obtain a university qualification. This program seems to give them the edge, and they move on to their courses with confidence."

Topics covered in SCU's Tertiary Preparation Course include uni structure, what makes a successful student, critical thinking, essay writing and editing, and report structure. In addition to these workshops, participants are expected to undertake work in their own time.

Course cost is $350. Scholarships covering the full cost of the course are available to Health Care Card holders. Funding may be available to those seeking work through the organisation with which they are registered.

The Tertiary Preparation Course, run by SCU's Learning Assistance Unit, is at the Lismore campus for three weeks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, from October 18. To discuss the course, phone Sue Shaw or Jan Regan at SCU on 66203386.