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Like many high school students, Gracie just presumed that she needed to finish her HSC, go to university, and then she would have all she needed for a successful career. And just like many university students eventually learn – universities don’t have all the answers.
“Prior to commencing my studies with TAFE NSW, I had gone into university and undertaken the same degree, but found that the information and the courses that I was completing weren't exactly what I was after, and not relevant to my study,” Gracie says.
“I wanted to come straight from high school and go straight into the field of study.”
Since finishing university, Gracie earned her TAFE NSW Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and Care, and is currently an early childhood teacher. A role she may not have been able to obtain without the specific, industry relevant training she experienced at TAFE NSW.
And like the thousands of others who have also made the switch from university to TAFE NSW, Gracie discovered that the small classes, the course delivery and the study content are tailored for the real world.
“I found that TAFE NSW allowed me the opportunity to dive right into the coursework - the practical aspect of it - and that's what I really enjoyed about it,” Gracie says.
“Having the practical applications, the skills and knowledge to build on each semester and going into the workforce with that knowledge, the encouragement, the skills, have all really allowed me to develop as an educator and leader within my community.”
It wasn’t just the industry-tailored class content that Gracie appreciated. Gracie says that her success was due in large part to the specialised attention that she was able to receive within those classes.
“At university, you're generally in a huge lecture hall with hundreds of people. At TAFE NSW, you're in classrooms of ten to fifteen people at the very most. And in a night class, it's about eight people.
“That just allowed more one-on-one time with the teacher to voice your questions and concerns, and not have any judgment or stigma attached.
“It's always good to know that there is someone there who you can speak to, who can encourage you, support you.
"It made such a difference to me being motivated to study and to want to push myself to do the best I could do.”
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