Mallery Thorne admits to being both nervous and excited about beginning her bachelor of teaching and learning degree at Charles Darwin University next month.
The 19-year-old Millner student is among the hundreds of students that have taken up offers for a place at the university since candidates were notified of their success earlier this week.
Mallery will study for her teaching degree externally but under reforms this year to the course she will increasingly be required to spend lengthy periods in the classroom.
The new bachelor of teaching and learning, which replaces the old bachelor of education from 2007, aims to make students “classroom ready” as soon as possible, with some students beginning their practical experience in the classroom in first semester.
Mallery’s journey towards university study reflects the diversity of pathways now available to young people, especially those who have not gone through the high school system and graduated with a TER score after Year 12 examinations.
Born and raised at Boddington, a mining town about 100km south-east of Perth, Mallery completed her schooling to Year 11 at Nightcliff high school in Darwin.
She enrolled in VTE business studies after leaving high school, completing her studies to Certificate III level while gaining work experience in various government departments.
To enable her to transfer her skills and experience to a higher education course she completed CDU’s special alternative Indigenous entry program before being offered a place by the School of Education.
“I’ve been interested in being a teacher since I was very young, so I was always hopeful that I would get there,” says Mallery.
She plans to specialise in early childhood education, and as a graduate teacher would like to find work in the Northern Territory’s education system.
This week a total of 1646 offers were made to students, an increase of 13 per cent on last year’s offers.
While many students have already accepted their offers, there will be a further round in February.
Many courses are being offered externally as well as on-campus, with law and business offering degrees studied online – a suitable scenario for students from the eastern states and elsewhere who are keen to study at CDU but cannot move to the Territory.