Preparing for Success at SCU Program (PSP)

The Preparing for Success at SCU Program (PSP) is completed full time over 12 weeks or part time within one year. The course equips students with study skills for success at university. Students who complete PSP can proceed directly to a Southern Cross degree with the confidence that they are well-prepared to embark on further study.

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Preparing for Success on campus

I chose to do the PSP (Preparing for Success at SCU Program) on campus basically because I wanted the real university experience. I hadn't studied since high school, which was nearly 10 years ago. I've always been a little bit intimidated by university so I thought it was a great opportunity to have a go at university and see if it was for me.

Hi, my name is Adam. I'm 28. I'm studying PSP and hopefully going on to do a Bachelor of IT. I've only finished Year 8 at school so this is a big step for me to come in and do something like this. I was terrible at high school but now wanting to learn and do this for the right reasons: wanting a proper job, wanting to be a good role model. Things that it's teaching me is learning how to write essays, write reports, it's a real good step in the right direction. If anybody wants to go to uni and they are quite unsure, PSP would be the way to go.

I'm a single mom of two little boys and I wanted to try the PSP to figure out whether I was going to be able to handle my degree, which in the future I hope to do Sports and Exercise Science starting this year mid-year. It's been awesome it's taught me so much and I think if I had have gone straight into the degree I would have really struggled with referencing and just the writing style of being at uni.

I chose to study the PSP program in 2014 and can I tell you it's been one of the best experiences I have had. I am now studying a Bachelor of Indigenous Trauma and Healing and this course is really, really relevant to me. I wouldn't have had the skills or knowledge about referencing if it had not have been for the PSP program.

I did the PSP in 2014. I found it to be quite useful in my academic skills and writing,which I had a lot of trouble with. Now I'm studying a Bachelor of Arts and going to Japan in August.

I had been a Teacher's Aid Special all my life and work was getting pretty sparse so I started here. It's been wonderful on campus to get to know other kids. I'm not as young as everyone else but it's all inclusive and wonderful. Down the line in my future I want to be a creative writer, and so after finishing this I hope to go on and be accepted in Creative Writing and finish my career that way.

Coming from Africa, English is my second language - it's the hardest thing. I finished high school last year not with the best ATAR so I had to find another way of getting into uni. I called in at Southern Cross University. They told me to apply for the PSP course, which I did. When I got in I was so happy. Well, I picked (to study) internally 'cause I'm the kind of person who learns looking at someone and being there in class, it makes it easier for me and I'm not very good with technology.

If I need to ask questions I can just ask the teacher after class to explain something. To see how far I've come from the beginning. I really doubted myself but now I can really see that I have the ability to succeed at a university level. I've learnt how to use the website, I've met people, I've made friends and it's just been the best experience, it's gotten me out of my shell, I feel more confident and I can't wait to start.

Preparing for Success online

I chose to study online so I could have the flexibility in my busy life to be able to manage studying, my children, my family, my husband, my life. Today is my day off and I also have my daughter with me. We decided to come down to the lake here and she's swimming and I'm catching up on some reading.

Studying online, it kind of packs up pretty easily into your life. You can just set yourself up in your living room and as long as your internet connection's all ready and you're confident that you're
going to be able to use that to get all your work in. Sort of find yourself a little corner, get your books organised and pretty much most materials are going to be contained on your little computer so it doesn't have to take over your life.

The tutorial's about to start but I can't log in at home because I need to drive to work so I've discovered that I can log in to the app on my mobile phone and Bluetooth the class to my stereo and that way I can listen on the way to work. Obviously I can't participate or take notes but I can still keep up-to-date with listening to what happened in the session and what the instructions for the next week are.

The great thing about the online environment is that you can access it at any time so catching up on work is just a matter of looking at recordings and tutorials or going back through the
discussion board and it's all recorded there for you. You don't have to look through messy notes that you may or may not know scribbled down during a lecture.

It's fantastic to be part of the live session. You'll constantly be getting feedback from your tutor, other classmates, getting involved and forming relationships with your fellow external students is really great. My first time speaking on the microphone in the blackboard session felt like I was on national radio I was so nervous.

So as the weeks progressed I realised that the best way was to prepare my questions and write them down before the blackboard session so things that had happened during the week or even things that were happening in that class at the time so when I was ready to speak I could just read my question.

I found the experience really engaging, I sort of remember uni as feeling quite isolated in big lecture halls. Putting your hand up this sort of pretty scary sometimes but in the online environment you've got all your resources right in front of you.

Any questions you have pretty much answered straight away either on the tutorial or if you email the lecturer they're always pretty prompt in getting back to you.

It's pretty awesome that you can utilise the tool the discussion board at anytime and the activities that are posted on there by your tutor are worth doing because they're all good preparation
for the assignments.

When you use the discussion board you see each other asking questions and so you learn from each other in that way and also you get to know your fellow students very well and quite quickly and lots of really strong relationships are built that way and they support each other in the learning process. I really enjoy teaching externally mainly because there are many ways that I can develop a strong relationship with you as a student. There's all kinds of tools that we use such as online tutorials which are called Blackboard Collaborate. I can see when you're doing well and I can equally see when you're not doing so well and need me to reach out to you and it's very easy for me to reach out to so I can do that by email or instant messaging or a number of other ways or simply replying to your posts on a discussion board and that way we can get to know what you need and what you need particularly from me.

I was a shy student when I enrolled in Preparing for Success but doing the course externally has given me more confidence to come in to the campus into a course next year.

I've got a really huge drive now to to want to succeed. It's surprising in a way how comfortable that made me feel how interesting it is and how it sort of expanded my horizons pretty quickly and me letting me know that this is something that I can actually do and fit into my life.

I think you really enjoy studying externally and I think you got a lot from it.


Frequently asked questions

PSP is offered at all campuses: Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Gold Coast and by distance education. The course commences each session in February, July and November.

See Teaching Calendar for dates.

The course is free with no fees. Students only need to be prepared to pay their living costs and to purchase learning materials such as a calculator.

Students study three (3) core units and one of two possible elective units; four units in all.

The compulsory units cover the topics of communication, study and numeracy skills, which prepare students well for future university studies.

Successful completion of the Preparing for Success at SCU Program guarantees entry into a Southern Cross undergraduate award at either the associate degree or degree level. For degrees which have limited places available, your acceptance into these degrees will depend on how well you performed in the PSP units you completed.

How to apply for your undergraduate degree post PSP

On successful completion of the Preparing for Success at SCU Program you can apply online directly to the University for the undergraduate degree of your choice. Applications are made via My Enrolment. You will need your Student ID and password to login.