Published on 25 August 2016
A self-confessed underperformer at high school has achieved almost 100 percent in university bridging subjects at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Gympie campus and is now planning to pursue a career as a psychologist.
Christine Barbar, 18, attributes her outstanding results in chemistry and biology to starting USC’s free Tertiary Preparation Pathway program, TPP, with an “open mind and eagerness to learn”.
“I never put much effort or time into my schooling and always had terrible attendance,” said the cafe worker from Wolvi who left school after Year 10.
Christine was completing vocational training in child care when a friend suggested enrolling with her in USC’s free university pathway program in Semester 1 this year.
“I had been wanting to study psychology but was unsure how to gain entry with my lack of education, so when I heard of the opportunities TPP would give me I decided to go for it.”
USC TPP lecturer Dr Slavica Pavlinic has praised Christine for her outstanding results in all of her TPP subjects.
Christine said the support and guidance from USC staff contributed to her success. “I started TPP with an open mind and eagerness to learn and I never hesitated to ask questions of my teachers about anything I didn't quite understand,” she said.
“By directing me in the right direction, rather than just giving me the information, I was able to gain independence in my studies which I never had in school. I also put a lot of time into my studies, which I had never done before.”
She is now encouraging others who do not believe university is an option for them to consider the tertiary bridging program.
“It is a great opportunity to gain entry into university, regardless of your age or educational background,” she said. “It equips you with skills and knowledge to enter university with confidence and clarity of what is expected and how to achieve it.”
Christine, who comes from a family of 12 children, said she had always found human behaviour fascinating and planned to enrol in a psychology degree next year.
“I would love to help those who have been through trauma, as I am aware of the difference it can make to people’s lives and the extent unresolved problems can have,” she said.
— Clare McKay