3 October 2017
A former Family Day Care business operator who believed for years that a university education was out of reach is now achieving top grades in an Early Childhood Education degree at USC Gympie.
Gympie mother of four Kathleen Pitt, 42, said she hoped to inspire her family and fellow students at the USC Gympie campus.
“I am the first in my family to attend university so I am a bit of a pioneer,” she said.
“It took me a long time to believe in myself, after leaving high school during Year 10 and returning without too much success to complete Year 11 and 12 as a mature-age student.
“My inspiration was my children. I wanted them to know that not everyone is academic at high school, and it is okay to study later when you have discovered your passion in life.”
Mrs Pitt said that having the opportunity to study locally encouraged her to take the first step towards chasing her career goal, starting in 2015 with the University’s award-winning Tertiary Preparation Program, TPP.
“I am grateful that I was able to complete TPP as a pathway to the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood). It removed some of my misconceptions, assisted my learning and gave me confidence during the first semester of my degree,” she said.
“For anyone who has doubts about whether they could attend university, I say just give it a try. It is surprising how well you can actually do and how much you will enjoy learning and making connections with like-minded people.”
Mrs Pitt, whose goal is to work as an early childhood teacher, attributes part of her study success to the supportive, close-knit environment of the Gympie campus. “The friendly administration staff and lecturers do all they can to help you achieve your goals.”
She now supports other students in her new roles as Student Success Officer and Career Development team assistant.
“It is rewarding to share my knowledge and experience, and to help other students improve their skills while developing my own communication and leadership skills,” said Mrs Pitt, also a long-time member of the Centenary Gympie Scout Group.
People in the Gympie region who are interested in studying at USC can go to www.usc.edu.au/learn for advice on how to choose a course, build study skills and apply to QTAC.
— Clare McKay