HEAD START: Synara Streeter with CQU Associate Vice-Chancellor (Central Highlands) Associate Professor Anita Milroy.
HEAD START: Synara Streeter with CQU Associate Vice-Chancellor (Central Highlands) Associate Professor Anita Milroy. Taylor Battersby

Kick starting her career path

SYNARA Streeter is a Year 12 student who has decided to "get a head start” along her future pathway by embarking on a degree at university while finishing her high school studies.

Synara, 17, said she became attracted to the Start Uni Now - or SUN - Student program when she watched a friend complete the university initiative last year.

She said she had been working on her Cert II in Agriculture through Emerald Ag College while she was in Years 10 and 11 and her friend was a year older and also completing the SUN program.

"So when I finished that I thought it would be a good idea to do this next and get a head start,” the Emerald State High School student said.

This year, Synara started the CQU Bachelor of Agriculture - she is currently studying the science and communications unit - a course she has described as "amazing” and "very informative”.

Synara, who grew up on a cattle farm near Gin Gin in Queensland, said she was hoping to follow agriculture as a career pathway but "there's no certainties yet”.

She said the course, which she studies remotely, allowed her to explore how her studies could translate into the real world.

"It helps open a lot of doors and it's not a big chunk of work all at once. They pace it well.”

Because she completed the Cert II in Agriculture last year, Synara said she had space in her school schedule this year which allowed her to include the SUN program without affecting studies for her high school subjects.

The SUN initiative allows students in Years 10, 11 and 12 to study 'units' - similar to school subjects - while still in high school.

CQU Associate Vice-Chancellor (Central Highlands) Associate Professor Anita Milroy said the program provided another pathway for people wishing to embark on university studies.

"It's all about getting people to university via their own path, whether it be through STEPS, the SUN program or an alternative approach,” Assoc Prof Milroy said.

"Sometimes, you make plans, then life happens.

"But it really doesn't matter what happens in life, you can still embark on your career path.”

The university website describes a few of the benefits of SUN as gaining an "authentic insight” into university life and becoming eligible to apply for direct entry into an undergraduate degree.