How local student found her calling through volunteering
After just one stint volunteering at Parke State School, Emma Cordie from Maryborough knew teaching was her calling.
"It began with me simply helping out as a way to keep myself busy during my time off, but it quickly became something I was very passionate about," she said.
"I would devote the first two weeks of college holidays to doing work experience at my former primary school, I spent the whole year looking forward to it.
"I had the opportunity to work with students one-on-one, help run class activities and supervise small group activities, which gave me great experience and insights into teaching."
Scoring an impressive ATAR of 93.45, she was eagerly awaiting the start of classes at USC Fraser Coast on 1 March to begin her four-year Bachelor of Primary Education at Hervey Bay campus.
Ms Cordie said the opportunity to study the degree of her choice while still living at home was a major advantage.
"Studying at the Fraser Coast campus will allow me to continue growing in a familiar environment, close to family and surrounded by a supportive and welcoming community," she said.
A background in musical theatre and public speaking are some of the skills Emma plans to bring to the classroom during placements and as a graduate teacher.
Program co-ordinator for USC's Bachelor of Primary Education Dr Sharon Louth encouraged recent school leavers and those looking for a new career to consider teaching.
"The rewards of helping young minds grow and learn are immense and the profession offers considerable financial incentives, job security and opportunities," Dr Louth said.
She said the current full-time beginning state school teacher salary was approximately $71,000 a year, one of the highest starting salaries in Australia for graduates.
USC has also introduced an Undergraduate Certificate in Education (Primary) this year at its Fraser Coast campus and has scholarships available to cover the full cost of fees.
Applications will remain open until 10 March, and students will be automatically considered for the scholarships when applying to study.