Course prepares people for uni
A FORMER hospitality manager with a desire to open his own brewery, and a former hairdresser seeking a career as a social worker after 30 years, are living their dreams at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The two Gympie residents say they gained the confidence and ability to follow new life paths by first completing a USC program called Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP).
Andrew Cook, 23, started his Bachelor of Business at the Sippy Downs campus earlier this year, while Carolyn Lorensen jumped into her Bachelor of Social Work.
TPP provides an alternative entry pathway to tertiary study for people who are unable to gain admission to a degree program via QTAC without additional qualifications.
Andrew said the university's relaxed environment and five-star teaching qualities prompted his decision to undertake four TPP courses over summer.
"They were great shock absorbers for entering an undergraduate degree," he said.
"I haven't been in education for seven years so it was awesome to do a crash course, full-time, with exams, assignments and a detailed outline of what's expected at university level.
"I was an operation manager for a small hospitality firm before and loved that style of work so business was definitely the direction I wanted to take."
Andrew said he was thoroughly enjoying his lectures and had set short-term and long-term job goals. "I've always wanted to open a microbrewery, but I'd first like to work in a business development role," he said.
Carolyn was motivated to enrol in TPP after attending a USC information evening at Gympie's civic centre.
"I'd always wanted to study but never had the confidence or opportunity," she said. "I'd left school after Year 10 to do a hairdressing apprenticeship, raised a family and worked as an office manager. But everything fell into place when I learned about TPP."
The single mother of three said she had "no idea how to write an essay" until the TPP courses taught her academic skills and offered a taste of university life.
"I also developed my interest in social work and realised what skills I already have," she said.
Carolyn wanted to study on campus, not externally, to take advantage of the support and interaction available. "Sitting in my first lecture was like, wow. It's challenging to juggle home and study but I know I can seek help."
An information evening on USC's TPP program will be held at the Gympie Library on Tuesday from 5.30pm.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. au or phone 5481 0859 to book.