JCU’s Pre-University Foundation Program gives Ms Kayla Seah an alternative pathway to reassess her career choices
Jan 14, 2020
When her aunt told her how much she enjoyed working in a pharmacy, becoming a pharmacist seemed like the perfect career for Ms Kayla Seah. But she realised it’s not for her just a year into her diploma in pharmaceutical science.
“I was less motivated to study and it showed in my grades,” says Ms Seah, who then started researching on other academic options.
That’s when she discovered the Pre-University Foundation Program at James Cook University (JCU). It provides an alternative pathway outside of the usual pre-tertiary routes, and prepares students with the skills and knowledge for tertiary education.
Typically offered in universities abroad, JCU has a local campus with a foundation programme that focuses on entry to JCU undergraduate degrees in Business, Business and Environmental Science, Psychology and Information Technology.
“This means I can enjoy the benefits of the university without having to worry about adapting to a new country and environment,” says the 18-year-old.
With renewed excitement for her education, Ms Seah began her pre-university foundation studies in November last year.
The eight-month full-time programme requires students to complete 10 subjects, including economics, statistics and English.
Upon completing it with an average grade of 65 per cent and above, she will begin a two-year Bachelor of Arts (Majoring in Psychology Studies) at JCU.
“From an early age, I’ve had a keen interest in the human psyche and wanted to learn about the driving forces behind the behaviour of children and youth. I decided to study psychology to pursue a career in counselling children and youth.”
After completing her undergraduate studies in psychology, she will be able to pursue a diverse range of careers such as government and human services organisations.
But for Ms Seah, the foundation programme is more than a fast track to attain a degree.
Students are also equipped with various study skills such as note-taking, and time and stress management — tools she believes will help ensure a smooth transition from pre-tertiary to tertiary studies.
Most importantly, it gives her a chance to find a path that might suit her better.
“Though it may seem scary to embark on an alternative pathway, it can be a very rewarding change. Besides getting an education, I feel that it is also important that we enjoy the journey,” she says.