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Head Start helps Ryan take control of his career

Two men standing
Ryan McFall with USQ Head of School (Teacher Education and Early Childhood) Professor Stephen Winn.

Like many high school students, Redbank Plains’ Ryan McFall was undecided about his future.

Enter the USQ Head Start program, which offers secondary students the chance to explore opportunities university study can provide while getting a taste of uni life.

Ryan, 17, is the first of two students to complete an Aviation subject through Head Start and graduated at USQ Springfield on Monday (August 7).

The ceremony celebrated the success of high-achieving Year 10, 11 and 12 students with the capability, maturity and motivation to undertake university study while in high school.

Students who successfully complete Head Start are guaranteed entry and academic credit into related degrees provided they have met the program pre-requisites.

Ryan undertook the Introduction to Aviation course and had the benefit of attending lectures at USQ Springfield.

The Charlotte Mason College Year 11 student said mixing with lecturers and students in classrooms has put him in a better position to make an informed decision about his future.

“My main motivation behind joining Head Start was to gain a more rounded understanding of what learning in a university environment is like and to gain some insight into the aviation industry,” he said.

“It was rewarding being able to sit with and learn on an equal level with other USQ students, some of which have substantial experience in the industry already.

“While I haven’t ruled out studying aviation, Head Start has encouraged me to look at the bigger picture and investigate all my options before deciding what I want to pursue as a career.”

Eighty seven students officially graduated from Head Start in Semester 1, 2017, including seven from The Ipswich State High School, two from St Augustine’s College and one from West Moreton Anglican College.

About 1000 high school students have successfully completed a Head Start course either at a USQ campus or via distance (online) education since the program started in 2005.

For more information about the program, visit Head Start.