An alternative pathway to university: Zoe Brennocks’ story | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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An alternative pathway to university: Zoe Brennocks’ story

Like so many Year 11 and 12 students, Zoe Brennocks didn’t really know what she wanted to do after high school, and after dropping her ATAR subjects in Year 11, she thought her dreams of going to university were over. Read Zoe’s story about getting into university through an alternative pathway.

When I first started thinking about life after high school, I hoped to get into nursing and was on my way to a career helping people. After facing a few challenges in Year 11, things were getting on top of me and I had to make some changes. I made the difficult decision to drop my ATAR subjects to ease some of the pressure from the personal challenges I was facing.

During this time, I forged a passion to become a teacher after completing work experience at a local school. However, after dropping my ATAR subjects, I knew I wouldn’t meet the entry requirements for the Bachelor of Primary Education and I thought this dream was out of reach. I met with my school’s Guidance Officer to ask for advice, and that’s when I heard about UniSC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) and the Early Offer Guarantee and realised that I could still get into uni in Semester 1 with my peers.

My Guidance Officer told me that if I studied the prerequisite subjects for the Bachelor of Primary Education through TPP in Session 8 (intensive summer session, in November), I could receive a rank and meet the entry requirements to get me into uni the following semester. So I applied to study TPP through the Early Offer Guarantee program and received my offer in August, which gave me extra time to prepare for my TPP studies in November. After completing TPP, I was offered a place at UniSC to begin my studies in primary education in Semester 1.

Although my friends thought I was a little crazy going straight into TPP after just finishing Year 12, it was absolutely worth it! Those few weeks of extra study meant that I could get into uni the following year and be on my way to becoming a teacher.

The best thing about TPP is that I was able to gain study skills like critical reading, assignment writing, and referencing - things that I wasn’t taught in high school. It definitely gave me a head start when I began my uni degree and I’m happy to say that I’ve passed all of my courses with flying colours!

My advice to other students is to know that there are other ways of getting into uni, and just because you don’t have an ATAR, you still have options! Make a time to speak with your school’s Guidance Officer or do a bit of research on the university you’re thinking of going to, because you may be surprised at how many pathways are available to you!


If your child is in Year 12 and would like to know more about the Early Offer Guarantee, how to apply for uni, and scholarships on offer, join us at our upcoming online information session and we'll help take the stress out of getting into uni.


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