Murray Bridge Year 11 student Chelsea Gotch has given herself a career head start by taking on free university studies that will give her credit towards her SACE and fast-track her undergraduate degree.
The Unity College student is giving herself an edge over her peers by taking on our Start University Now (SUN) program, offered by our partners at CQUniversity.
Not only does the program allow Chelsea to study a uni course for free while still at school, it also increases her chances of being accepted into her chosen undergraduate degree (with credit for courses completed), and the studies can count as part of her SACE.
We caught up with Chelsea to find out more about the many benefits of the SUN Program and her own experience after recently completing her first SUN unit.
What is the SUN Program?
The SUN program gives students the opportunity to study CQUniversity units while in Years 10, 11 and 12. SUN units are undertaken at the same time as regular high school study commitments. For Chelsea, studying a SUN unit gave her a sneak peek into uni life, expectations and workload while she’s still in high school.
“The SUN unit gives you an insight to what uni life is about,” she says. “You get to study as a uni student the same as what you would do in Adelaide, but you get the extra flexibility of being able to study at home in Murray Bridge through distance learning.”
Chelsea chose to study the Bachelor of Business – Marketing Fundamentals unit – a perfect fit for her dream future career in marketing. It was the variety of units available that drew her to study through the uni system.
“I was interested in marketing, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after school – whether it was university or a TAFE course,” she says.
“Considering all my options, I decided that I do want to go to university and study this course because it gave me an insight into what uni life is about and it made my career choice really easy.
“You get to study a unit of your own choice, and there’s so many different options available that you can study. Plus, you get to study at school so it just goes in to one of your subjects.”
How much will SUN units cost me?
The first SUN unit is FREE! Saving you thousands on university fees, and subsequent units cost less than a third of regular university fees. After your first unit you can study up to an additional three units at the cost of around $375 each. The only other costs you may have to cover is for textbooks and resources.
Can SUN units help me get entry to uni?
SUN units are undertaken at the same time as regular high school study commitments and can help you gain direct entry into your chosen degree, without having to rely so much on your ATAR score. After successful completion of SUN units, you may be eligible to apply for direct entry into an undergraduate degree at CQUniversity.
SUN units can also help students complete their SA Certificate of Education (SACE) as many of the courses are SACE accredited.
“You also get credits towards SACE, so it’s a good opportunity to study something you are interested in, because there are so many courses available,” Chelsea says.
What are the benefits of online learning?
Because SUN units can be studied online, students can take full advantage of the Murray River Study Hub. The study hub gives you access to modern facilities and student advisors, making it the perfect supportive environment in which to start your university journey.
Chelsea enjoyed the many benefits of using the space and taking advantage of the hub’s face-to-face support.
“It’s a quiet space, there’s internet, there’s also student advisors who can help you through the courses,” she says.
Chelsea also discovered the many benefits of being able to study while staying close to home.
“I didn’t have to travel to Adelaide because it was all online as a distance education, and the hub here provided lots of support so I could always have someone to contact,” she says.
Chelsea had help from student advisor Shaun, who assisted her while she completed her SUN unit.
“He was a great help, he was always just an email away if I had any questions about the unit or if I needed someone to talk to,” she says.
“He got me started and got me enrolled in the unit, so you can always just come down and talk to Shaun or send him an email and I’m sure he’ll be happy to help.”
What if I don’t know what I want to do after school?
With more than 100 units available to study, the SUN program can help prepare you for the transition from high school to tertiary study regardless of the degree or career path you decide to take.
Chelsea said her experience with both the Murray River Study Hub and the SUN program helped her discover her future career pathway.
“It was really helpful in finding out what career pathway I wanted to go through,” she says.
“Come down to the study hub – it’s a great way to get a head start into your career and to decide what you want to do after school.”
So if you’re a high school student interested in the SUN program, enquire now for Term 3 (9 Nov 2020 – 12 Feb 2021). Applications close 16 October.