Lauren gets early start to Animal Ecology degree - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Lauren gets early start to Animal Ecology degree

7 Mar 2019

A decision to study university subjects while still in high school has given a career head start to aspiring wildlife biologist Lauren Zeglio from Brighton.

The 2018 St John Fisher College senior attended lectures and tutorials at USC’s Sunshine Coast campus in Year 11 and 12 as part of its Headstart program and is now enrolled in an Animal Ecology degree at the University.

“Headstart is a great chance to prove to yourself what you are capable of,” said the 18-year-old who will share her experience at an information session for high school students and parents on Tuesday 19 March at USC’s Caboolture campus.

The event, from 4.30-6pm, will include practical advice for Year 10, 11 and 12 students interested in gaining a taste of university life while still at school.

Students and their parents can talk to USC staff and students about the journey to university, take campus tours, and receive advice on career planning and applying to study via QTAC.

The Headstart program allows students to completing USC subjects while in Year 11 and 12 and gain credit towards their Queensland Certificate of Education and a university degree.

With no tuition fees for the first subject and a reduced fee for a second subject, it helps to reduce the overall cost of a degree. Scholarships are also available.

Lauren said her self-belief soared when she gained a distinction for a USC Communications subject in Year 11, followed by a high distinction for a first-year Biodiversity and Ecology subject in Year 12.

“Headstart gave me that sense of accomplishment and the confidence to know that I can pretty much do whatever I set my mind to,” Lauren said.

“Even my parents commented that they had noticed a big change, saying my confidence appeared to go up in every aspect of my daily routine.”

“Once I had learned the ropes at uni, I could link those academic writing and research skills back to my school work which helped to improve my senior results.”

Headstart also offers an opportunity for school students to try out a future career or study subjects that are not available at school.

“It helped me figure out what I wanted to do. Since I can remember, I have wanted to work with animals, so I was pleased to be able to get a head start on an Animal Ecology degree and start working towards my career earlier.”

“I like how the degree is very hands-on and links theory to field work. In just my first few weeks, I will have a field trip to Stradbroke Island,” she said.

Having already gained credit for two USC subjects while at school, Headstart has allowed Lauren to reduce her study load as she settles into her first year of university.

Register for the Caboolture Headstart session.


— Clare McKay

USC Animal Ecology student Lauren Zeglio

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Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging twalsh@usc.edu.au +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator jkirklan@usc.edu.au +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) cmckay@usc.edu.au +61 7 5456 5669

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