27 February 2014
A Mooloolah 18-year-old who gained an OP2 will next week start his University of the Sunshine Coast degree well ahead of many of his fellow students.
James Cran will begin his Civil Engineering (Honours) with credit for two subjects he completed successfully as a Year 11 student at Chancellor State College.
His university experience will also be boosted by a $20,000 Renouf Family Scholarship, one of two awarded at USC this semester for high academic achievement, leadership skills and financial need.
James said he was surprised to get such a big scholarship and looked forward to giving top priority to his studies, rather than paid work.
He recently returned from a month’s mission in Kenya, where he helped at an orphanage on building projects such as school desks and shelving.
“That was a good hands-on experience and seeing that sort of poverty does change your perspective,” he said.
James and his family have also been involved in the local community, with the Maroochydore Squash Club Juniors and Mooloolah Community Carols.
He said he chose USC instead of a Brisbane institution so he could stay living at home and surfing the beaches.
“I’ve always been an engineering-minded person, interested in the way things work and building things,” he said.
“Chancellor State College has a lot of partnerships with USC so I did Integrated Learning Engineering (ILE), where lectures and tutorials were given at school.
“It was good because university is a very different learning experience, a lot more independent, and I got to preview that style before going into a degree.
“Now I know some tutors and I can relax a bit because I’ve done two courses.”
He said he would investigate USC’s Global Opportunities program because he would love the opportunity to travel and study overseas as part of his degree.
— Julie Schomberg