Applications are now open for the Intensive Open Foundation program at the University of Newcastle.
Commencing in July, Intensive Open Foundation is a tertiary preparation course for people over the age of 20 which provides a qualification that can be used to gain entry into university. The program is offered at the Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses.
Deputy Director of the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, Dr Keryl Kavanagh, said Open Foundation was the ideal program for people considering a career change or who wanted to study at university but didn't have the entry qualification.
"Open Foundation helps people develop the skills needed for successful study at a tertiary level," Dr Kavanagh said.
"The University of Newcastle is the leader in providing pathways to tertiary education, and in the 30-plus years we've been offering Open Foundation we've helped thousands of people make the transition to university study."
Students undertake a full-time program of study across 13 weeks. They can choose two subjects from a range of areas including history, English literature and film, science, maths and philosophy.
If students successfully complete the course they are eligible to apply for University entry and can be ready to start an undergraduate degree program at the beginning of 2008.
Twelve months ago, Killarney Vale resident Scott King was fed up with his job and frustrated he wasn't getting what he wanted out of it. Today he is well on his way to realising his dream of being a primary school teacher.
"I had been working for the same company for seven years and I just felt like I was marking time," he said.
"I had always thought about studying, but didn't know how to go about it. So, I contacted the University of Newcastle and they told me about Intensive Open Foundation and I knew it was the right course for me.
"Twelve months on, I'm studying a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts degree and I'm looking forward to graduating and starting a new career as a primary school teacher."
Mr King almost didn't make it, though. His wife Katie gave birth 10 weeks prematurely to their son Isaac as he was about to start Open Foundation and he missed the first week of lectures.
"It was a tough time, with the baby in hospital. But my wife was behind me all the way and even though it was a difficult time I got back on track and we made it work," he said.
Applications close 20 June 2007. Open Foundation representatives will be available from 10am - 4pm at Charlestown Square on 3 and 4 June, Salamander Bay Shopping Centre on 13 June and Lake Haven Shopping Centre on 15 June.
Find out more at www.newcastle.edu.au/elfsc