2020 was a challenging for Year 12 students.

But this has not stopped a group of students from across the region, who have not only achieved their SACE, but studied at university at the same time.

Start Uni Now (SUN) provides Year 11 and 12 students with the opportunity to begin university studies while still at school. The program is offered at Uni Hub Spencer Gulf through its university partner, CQUniversity.

Gladstone High School student Ayzia Wood-Arnold, Jamestown Community School student Tess Kitschke and Caritas College student Raener Miller all studied through the SUN program.

For Ayzia, her involvement with Uni Hub Spencer Gulf was a family affair, with her mum Pam studying a Bachelor of Nursing with CQUniversity. Ayzia decided to study Psychology subjects during Year 11 and 12, with plans to continue this as a career path.

“I choose to complete the SUN program to help kickstart my university experience,” Ayzia said.

“I wanted the knowledge and skill of learning tertiary subjects well before attending university so I had a better understanding before I started.

“It was an amazing opportunity that I simply could not pass up – and SUN contributed greatly to my ATAR results.”

Ayzia said she was grateful for the support she received from the Uni Hub during her SUN studies.

“Its comforting to know that there are people with you, willing to help, especially when you can feel alone. Staff are always happy to help, which makes the stressful process of studying high level subjects easier.”

Pam and Ayzia

TOP: Caritas College student Raener studied through the SUN Program, which provided her credits towards her Bachelor of Medical Science. Pictured were, from left, Student Services coordinator Kim Gregory, Raener Miller, Port Augusta coordinator Shanon Pillion and Student Engagement Officer Lexie Morris.

ABOVE: Gladstone High School student Ayzia Wood-Arnold, left, studied Psychology subjects through the Start Uni Now (SUN) program. Her mum Pam, right, recently completed her Bachelor of Nursing through Uni Hub Spencer Gulf.

Jamestown Community School student Tess Kitschke began studying subjects from the Bachelor of Nursing in Year 11 and continuing with the program in Year 12, supporting her career goal of becoming a nurse.

“The workload of uni compared to school is a lot heavier, but the support from my school and mentors was significant,” she said.

“I think there are so many benefits to the SUN program. I’ve already completed half of my first year in nursing and the conversion of my uni results towards my ATAR was very beneficial.”

Tess said that Uni Hub coordinator Kim Gregory had been ‘a massive support’ throughout her SUN studies.

“Kim is very approachable…only a phone call away. Her quick responses were very much appreciated. She followed up on all the queries that I had,” she said.

Caritas College student Raener Miller’s involvement in the SUN program during Year 11 provided her with credits towards her Bachelor of Medical Science.

“I elected to undertake these courses to immerse myself in the content relevant to the career I wish to pursue – neuroscience,” she said.

“The information I learnt throughout these two courses was applicable to the subjects Chemistry, Biology and Physical Education that I studied during Year 12.”

Raener said SUN allowed her to pursue her goals at a younger age.

“This one-of-a-kind experience has provided me with multiple opportunities, such as networking with Uni Hub and aligned staff and the chance to refine my time- management and study skills before attending university,” she said.

“The support I received from Kim Gregory, Lexie Morris and staff at the Uni Hub was incredible. I never felt as if I were alone or studying at distance.

“The Uni Hub was always available if I developed any questions or queries – which were always answered. Caritas College was also generous as to provide accommodations for my tertiary study, ensuring that I was awarded the relevant SACE recognition and credits.”

Fourteen local secondary students studied through CQUniversity’s SUN Program with Uni Hub Spencer Gulf in 2020.

Student Services coordinator Kim Gregory said all of the Uni Hub SUN students showed a high level of dedication and perseverance during their studies.

“Excellent grades were recorded by all our SUN students,” she said.

“We are incredibly proud of their achievements in what has been a very difficult year for Year 11 and 12 students.”

Student Tess with Kim Gregory

ABOVE: Jamestown Community School student Tess Kitschke studied Bachelor of Nursing subjects as part of the Start Uni Now (SUN) program. Tess, right, was pictured with Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Student Services coordinator Kim Gregory.

SUN students