Published on 16 November 2012
16 November 2012
Four young mothers in an award-winning education program are preparing to graduate from a University of the Sunshine Coast tertiary bridging course on 26 November.
Katrina Nelson of Aroona, Hayley Pleysier of Bellvista, Samantha Taylor of Nambour and Nadine Leahy of Bli Bli are participants in Burnside State High School’s STEMM program (Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring).
In conjunction with STEMM, the women enjoyed studying USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway subjects so much this year that all four intend to enrol in degrees at the University in 2013.
They have applied for undergraduate programs in Paramedic Science, Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Human Resource Management.
They will receive their USC TPP completion certificates at a function at Burnside State High School on Monday 26 November.
STEMM recently won a major State Government award, beating state school programs from across Queensland to be named winner of the $20,000 RemServ Showcase Award for Excellence in Innovation.
The four women were delighted to celebrate with their STEMM and TPP mentors and teachers at a gala event in Brisbane on 12 October held by the Department of Education, Training and Employment.
USC Tertiary Preparation Pathway Course Coordinator Emma Kill said the University had been offering the TPP courses to young mothers and pregnant teenagers within the STEMM program at Burnside since 2008.
“We help students combine parenting or pregnancy with educational learning in a familiar environment,” she said.
USC teachers provide the courses in the school’s classrooms and also bring the participants into lecture theatres and tutorials on campus at Sippy Downs.
TPP is an alternative entry pathway to tertiary study. The USC courses are free for most Australian students and provide participants with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in undergraduate degrees, as well as an experience of university life.
Ms Kill said USC was delighted to collaborate with Burnside’s STEMM program through TPP and volunteers in academic skills, library skills and counselling.
“We all work together to look at how we can further these young women’s educational outcomes,” she said.
“A main focus is to break the cycle of disengagement from education, so these women can create more opportunities for themselves and their children.”
— Julie Schomberg