15 Feb 2021
Inspired by her own school experience, Maryborough’s Emma Cordie is about to embark on a university journey at USC Fraser Coast that will lead to a career as an educator.
The St Mary’s College 2020 graduate, who achieved an impressive ATAR of 93.45, said she was eagerly awaiting the start of classes on 1 March to begin the four-year Bachelor of Primary Education at the campus in Hervey Bay.
Emma said it took just one stint as a volunteer at her former primary school, Parke State School near Maryborough, to convince her that education was her calling.
“It began with me simply helping out as a way to keep myself busy during my time off, but it quickly became something I was very passionate about,” she said.
“I would devote the first two weeks of college holidays to doing work experience at my former primary school – I spent the whole year looking forward to it.
“I had the opportunity to work with students one-on-one, help run class activities and supervise small group activities, which gave me great experience and insights into teaching.”
Applications via QTAC to study Primary Education at USC from Semester 1 close on 19 February. Prospective students can also apply mid-year.
Program coordinator for USC’s Bachelor of Primary Education Dr Sharon Louth encouraged recent school leavers and those looking for a new career to consider teaching.
“The rewards of helping young minds grow and learn are immense and the profession offers considerable financial incentives, job security and opportunities,” said Dr Louth, who is based at USC’s Fraser Coast campus.
Dr Louth said the current full-time beginning state school teacher salary was approximately $71,000 a year – one of the highest starting salaries in Australia for graduates. A teaching degree is also now much more affordable after recent fee changes as part of the Federal Government’s Job Ready Graduates package.
USC has also introduced an Undergraduate Certificate in Education (Primary) this year at its Fraser Coast campus and has scholarships available to cover the full cost of fees.
Applications will remain open until 10 March, and students will be automatically considered for the scholarships when applying to study.
As part of the short courses, students complete four introductory-level subjects which can be converted to a full semester of credit towards the Primary Education degree.
Emma said the opportunity to study the degree of her choice while still living at home was a major advantage.
“Studying at the Fraser Coast campus will allow me to continue growing in a familiar environment, close to family and surrounded by a supportive and welcoming community,” she said.
A background in musical theatre and public speaking are some of the skills Emma plans to bring to the classroom during placements and as a graduate teacher.
“I am passionate about public speaking and any form of writing, participating in Eisteddfod, Lions Youth of the Year and Rostrum Voice of Youth,” said Emma, who performed in school plays and musicals and was awarded St Mary’s College public speaking medals.
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