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How a second chance at education changed Kayla's life


How a second chance at education changed Kayla's life

Castle Hill local Kayla Power is encouraging other mature-aged learners to hit the books and finish their education, after transforming her life with help from TAFE NSW.

Studies show that 1 in 4 Australians don’t go on to finish year 12[1], and ABS findings reveal 68% of people aged 20-64 years have a non-school qualification, with rates for men and women gradually converging over the past 15 years[2]

At the age of 33, Kayla decided to get back in the classroom and finish year 12 so that she could pursue higher education and her dream career. Now she’s on her way to achieving her dream of studying at university after completing her Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation at TAFE NSW.

“I really struggled at school due to personal circumstances and was unable to finish, I dropped out in year 10 but I always wanted to further my education and get into a job that I loved,” Kayla said.

“The only problem was, without my year 12 I just felt that I would never get there, that there was a crucial part of my education missing.”

The nationally accredited Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation prepares students for Diploma level and university study or entry into the Australian Defence Force. Recognised by educators and employers as an alternative pathway to Year 12, students develop the technical, social and academic skills needed to perform at the next level of study.

“I decided to study the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation part time over two years so that I could finish my year 12 equivalent and enter university. Over the years I have developed a real interest in biology and forensic science and I knew that I needed to go back and finish the missing piece of my education so that I could pursue a career in those fields.”

TAFE NSW has adapted quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing students to continue to study the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation safely, using online web-conferencing technology and regular catch ups with their educators.

Classes held via video-conferencing platforms like MS Teams allow students and teachers to interact, see and hear each other during normal class hours so they can still progress their studies. Classes are also slowly transitioning back to on-campus learning, with modified delivery which adheres to social distancing guidelines.

“When I started going to TAFE NSW I had never even written a proper essay before, but my teachers helped me to learn how to properly structure an essay, how to produce high quality work and inspired me to continue with my studies.

“I never thought that I would get this far but studying with TAFE NSW has completely changed how I see my future and has opened up a world of opportunities for me.”

Kayla has been accepted to study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Forensics at university and is back at TAFE NSW completing a Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques this semester to ready herself for the next stage of her education.

She wants to inspire others to finish their education and give themselves more opportunities in the professional sphere.

“At 33 years old I discovered that I love to learn. TAFE NSW did that for me.”

To find out more about the range of study options available at TAFE NSW in 2020, including the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation, visit or call 131 601.

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner,, mobile 0402 528 210.