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From home schooling to uni via a 1-year HSC equivalent at TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW Port Macquarie

From home schooling to uni via a 1-year HSC equivalent at TAFE NSW

22 January 2019


Telegraph Point teenager Hannah Sexton graduated from year 10 having never stepped foot in a classroom.

Home schooled since kindergarten, when Hannah was faced with her HSC years the bright 17 year old researched her options and decided to take the one-year adult-learning route. So, in February 2018 she began the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation (TPC) offered by TAFE NSW Port Macquarie.

Soon after graduating in November 2018 she applied to study a Bachelor of Medical Sciences at a Sydney-based university and was accepted. In providing Hannah with the knowledge and practical experience she needed to successfully apply for tertiary study, the TPC also provided a 1-year shortcut to university.

Hannah says, “I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a little girl. I didn’t want to spend two years doing my HSC so my family and I looked at the options and decided on the TAFE NSW Tertiary Preparation Certificate.

“I had never been into a conventional classroom or studied amongst students my own age. I had to be more independent and time manage, and I really enjoyed going to class. It was an eye opener to the world.

“TAFE NSW prepared and honed my academic ability to study at university, and my studying experience with my teachers was incredibly rewarding. They have wonderfully supported me throughout the duration of the course, always being prodigiously supportive and caring in my education, well-being and ambitions.

“I am aiming to become an obstetrician. After medical science I want to get into medicine then specialise in obstetrics. The TPC was a great way to get my HSC in less time with more relevant subjects and learning, and then be accepted into uni to move towards that goal.

“Now, I will soon be relocating to Sydney, which is both exciting and daunting.”

Although the vast majority of Hannah’s learning was done face to face in a classroom environment, her physics class wasn’t offered locally so she accessed a TAFE NSW Wollongbar course via video conference. Digital technology such as this has become an everyday learning tool in today’s educational environment.

The TAFE NSW coordinator for Hannah’s course, Clare McManus says, “Hannah’s experience of TAFE NSW was the first leaning experience she had encountered that incorporated classrooms, students, science experiments and practical lessons, examinations and assessment deadlines.

“She adapted quickly and with enormous enthusiasm that was infectious with her classmates. Her conscientiousness and self-discipline was exemplary.”

The Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation can be studied at many TAFE NSW locations, including Port Macquarie, Gosford, Wyong, Belmont, Glendale, Newcastle, Maitland, Cessnock, Kingscliff and Coffs Harbour, as well as online via TAFE Digital. For more information visit or call 131 601.


Media contact: Kristy Sheppard, TAFE NSW Media & Communications Business Partner, 4923 7784 or 0407 450 860.