12 December 2019
While other Year 12s nervously wait to find out their OP scores this Saturday, James Nash High School captain Lahni Edwards is already enrolled at USC and looking forward to a career as a high school teacher.
“It is so nice not to worry about my OP and then have to wait weeks for the next offer round,” said Lahni, whose focus on Saturday will instead be co-captaining her team in the final round of the Australian Volleyball School Cup on the Gold Coast.
Lahni and eight other students from James Nash State High received offers from USC as they celebrated their last day of high school almost a month ago, after opting to apply for the University’s Early Offer Guarantee program.
Instead of final Year 12 results and OP scores to determine university entry, offers are made on the recommendations of school principals who assess students on their academic performance, motivation, talents and ability to succeed.
Lahni, a talented musician who played the lead in the school musical and represented Wide Bay in squash, will study a Bachelor of Secondary Education and Arts at USC’s Sunshine Coast campus next year.
“Applying for early entry to USC has definitely saved me from lots of stress,” said the 17-year old.
“I feel very organised and prepared for starting university while a lot of my friends are still unsure what pathway they will take next year,” she said.
James Nash Principal Jackson Dodd said the school’s ongoing relationship with USC meant students did not have to feel the same pressure waiting for their scores to arrive.
“It’s a unique experience for students to be graduating their final year of school with a very clear path into their chosen studies the following year,” he said.
Since finishing school, Lahni has spent some time as a volunteer teacher in remote village schools in Cambodia – an experience that reinforced her plans to become an educator.
“Cambodia was just so eye-opening and rewarding that I actually accepted my USC offer and enrolled while I was there because it made me sure that teaching is what I want to do as a career,” she said.
“I love the fact that I can help shape young people’s minds.
“Teaching is a very rewarding job because you are helping to build future leaders and are developing skills and knowledge that can prepare students for successful lives.”
The popularity of USC’s Early Offer program continues to grow, with hundreds of students applying this year for places across the University’s various campuses at Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, Caboolture and Moreton Bay.
Applications are open to study at USC next year.
— Clare McKay