Home' VCE Expo : April 2010 Contents NATAGE S021
THE AGE • MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010
was mainly science subjects,"
Alistair says. "It was a really
good idea. I don't know
if I'd have coped going
straight into uni, and the
lab tech course was a
really good way to get
of science under my
year of the course
and then transferred
to university to complete his
psychophysiology degree, but is now thinking
of going back to the complete the lab
technician's course as well, time and money
"I kept in touch with friends who
completed the second year of the lab
technician's course and found that the course
had given them much more hands-on
equipment time," he says. "I have a lot of
theoretical knowledge from my course, but
they have a lot more practical experience with
actually using lab equipment."
Alexandra Sims says TAFE can also be
more user-friendly. "For some students, they
find it an easier transition to go to TAFE from
secondary school, as there are smaller class
sizes, and some use TAFE as a pathway to
university. At TAFE you are treated like an
adult, preparing for work in an adult world.
TAFE fees are also cheaper.
"If it's the first TAFE qualification students
have undertaken and they are under the age
of 20, then for this year, the maximum fee is
year, whereas for a
uni degree it's $4500 and up,
depending on what you study."
And in many cases you can use the
credits you receive for your TAFE course
to go on to study at university. That's what
Samantha Burke did. Samantha, 20, was
"pretty disappointed" when she didn't get the
ENTER score she needed to study psychology
at university. "I was thinking it was a waste of
time to do VCE at that point," she says.
After her results came through, she was
browsing through the VTAC booklet under
the TAFE section, when she came across
Swinburne's Pathways program, which
offered a bridging program (Certificate IV in
Science) allowing her to study at TAFE for the
prerequisites for psychology and move into
the degree course later.
"I was pretty excited," Samantha says. "I
was really happy that I had that option. I took
it as an opportunity. I thought I'm
going to be behind a year
but it's better
than not being
there at all."
Samantha had already completed
some of the prerequisites in VCE, so only had
to complete biology and chemistry through
the TAFE course. "I really enjoyed going
there and learning about stuff and I liked the
environment." The experience also meant
that she "wasn't freaked out" in her first year
of university. She is now in her second year
of a psychophysiology degree. Going to
TAFE and then to university
broadened her horizons
and opened up a lot of
doors, she says.
Sims says anyone
thinking about going to
TAFE should think about
their personal learning style.
"Do your research about the
provider and the course, find
out what the learning outcomes
of the course are and the
pathways available to them."
The best way to do this, she
says, is to go and have a look. "You
wouldn't buy a car without test-
driving it first, so why wouldn't you
have a look at where you are thinking
■ TAFE Courses Directory
This Victorian Government directory provide information on more
than 30 study areas and 1800 TAFE courses in Victoria.
■ TAFE Course Line
131 823 or email@example.com
The TAFE Course Line can refer you to institutions offering TAFE courses
in your area.
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