Year 11 student to discuss benefits of Headstart


Chancellor State College student Petra Nunn

Studying a human anatomy subject at university while in Year 11 is part of Chancellor State College student Petra Nunn’s plan to eventually become a doctor.

Petra attends lectures and tutorials at USC through the University’s Headstart program which allows Year 11 and 12 students to complete USC subjects to gain credit towards their Queensland Certificate of Education and work towards a degree at the same time.

On Thursday 19 September, Petra will be among speakers sharing their experiences at a free Headstart and Starting University information session for senior high school students and their parents and carers at USC’s Sunshine Coast campus from 4.30pm to 6pm.

The event will cover university entry options for students, including Early Offer Guarantees which offer Year 12 students who qualify an early and guaranteed place at USC in November.

Other topics include advice on how to choose the right study program, how to apply and complete QTAC applications, and insights from current students on succeeding at university.

Petra, who also completed a first-year USC Nursing Science subject last semester, said Headstart was helping her to become more independent, confident and expand her research and writing skills.

“It is definitely a strong enabler,” said Petra. “The fact I can be on campus surrounded by older students and still feel really relaxed and know I am more than capable of studying at university-level is really empowering.

“Before doing the program, I had never referenced an academic journal or research paper but now I cannot complete a school assignment without using these for my sources.

“It also teaches you how to balance school, study, part-time work and other interests and manage your time. Being 16, I didn’t really have those skills until going to USC.”

Chancellor State College Guidance Officer Dominic Towler said hundreds of students from the school had completed USC’s Headstart program over the past 10 years, with almost all continuing to some form of tertiary study.

“The program dramatically broadens the student’s senior pathway options in areas schools cannot possibly cover and they love the exploration of study areas that are unattainable at school,” he said.

“It enables an alternative pathway directly to USC and a selection rank that may be used elsewhere and allows students to ‘try before they buy’ and commit to a whole discipline area.

“As a school, having our students go to the neighbouring campus breaks down the invisible boundary between school and university, and realises the concept of an all-encompassing educational precinct.”

Headstart students can choose from about 80 first-year subjects, with no tuition fees for the first subject and a reduced fee for a second subject. This saves on the overall cost of a USC degree.

To register for the information session, go to

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