Jane takes first steps to uni with free skills course | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Jane takes first steps to uni with free skills course

When a cancer diagnosis inspired her to study Nursing Science, Gympie mother of five Jane Noon jumped at the chance to first complete a free university course to upgrade her academic skills.

USC’s University Skills for You is offered to adults wanting to explore their higher education and career options. The next course will be held at the Gympie campus on 26-27 November.

Jane, 49, who completed a session in January, said the two-day course caught her attention because it catered for people who had not finished school or studied for some time.

“Initially I thought it would be a wonderful refresher, but because of my age, so much has changed since I finished Year 12 and I realised it would actually be a completely new introduction to academic study,” she said.

“It was all that I expected,” said Jane, who is in her second semester of USC’s Bachelor of Nursing Science.

“It provided a great taste of what was in store at university and helped to build up my confidence and self-belief that I was ready to start a degree.”

University Skills for You coordinator Liz Davison said the course was ideal for anyone who was thinking about studying at TAFE or university and was unsure about what was involved.

“There are no tests, assignments or exams,” Ms Davison said. “Instead the emphasis is on helping people build their confidence and develop new academic skills in a supportive group learning environment.

“One important focus is helping people recognise the transferable skills they have gained from work and life experience.

“They are then taught how to develop this knowledge and experience into academic reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills.”

At the end of the course, participants can arrange to have individual sessions with USC career advisers to help develop study and career plans.

Workbooks are provided for free and there are no tuition fees. Places are limited and registration is essential.

Jane said the academic research, referencing and writing skills she gained from the course were extremely useful when she started her studies.

A cancer diagnosis in October last year was the catalyst for Jane’s decision to go to university.

“That was definitely my defining moment later in life,” said Jane who had finished raising her family of five girls and was working in a local butchery.

“I am now well, and my prognosis is wonderful, but that experience, which included radiation therapy and surgery, inspired me to become a nurse.

“While I was going through my treatment, I had so many wonderful people taking care of me, I decided that I wanted to be that wonderful person taking care of someone else.”

Register online or or email pathways@usc.edu.au.

Another session of University Skills for You will be offered at USC Gympie on 13-14 January.

— Clare McKay

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