TAFE to University Pathway – Samara’s Story

Samara, a foster parent, was looking for some guidance and assistance when it came to caring for her children. With an interest in community services, Samara searched for a suitable training provider that could offer a course that integrated with her lifestyle. When Samara came across Bendigo TAFE, it was the perfect fit; a smooth transition back into studying, with smaller class sizes and a guaranteed pathway to University.

Once Samara enrolled in the Certificate IV in Community Services (CHC42015) in 2016, she was hooked and discovered a new found interest in pursuing a career in the human services sector. She enjoyed the Certificate IV program so much, that she continued with her studies and enrolled into the Diploma of Community Services (CHC52015) in 2017. Samara’s goal was to work with children and through two placements at local schools was able to gain experience in her area of interest.

Samara’s passion for working with children was ignited through her studies with Bendigo TAFE and she continued to expand her skills and knowledge by completing the Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) in 2018. This led to her securing two jobs; one as an education support officer in a school and the other within an Afterschool Program. Samara was able to use her skills and experience to secure her dream job working with children. She says “Studying at TAFE gave me the confidence to do further study and time to think about what I wanted to do”.

Once her children were older, Samara was able to look to the future and decided that a tertiary degree was the next step in her educational journey. She was able to take advantage of the TAFE to University Pathway offered by Bendigo TAFE and the articulation agreement with La Trobe University which gained her 120 credit points (the equivalence of 12-months’ full time study) when enrolling into the Bachelor of Human Services degree.

Reflecting on her experience at TAFE, Samara believes it gave her the confidence and skills to succeed at University. Prior to attending TAFE, Samara had been out of school for a long period of time. She felt both studying at TAFE and working in the industry not only gave her the confidence but the belief that she could succeed. “TAFE gave me background knowledge that I use in my study at university” says Samara, as she was able to draw on her experience in the classroom and on placement with Bendigo TAFE which enabled her to easily understand the material presented at University and participate in tutorial discussions.

Samara is currently completing the Bachelor of Human Services/Masters of Social Work at La Trobe University and is a recipient of the Barrie Winzar Bursary 2020 scholarship. She is excited with the endless opportunities to pursue her passion of working with children.​​​