The Bachelor of Education with Professional Honours course at the University of Tasmania provides working teachers with enhanced skills and a greater edge in the job market.
The degree is taken entirely online, with flexible study options designed to be compatible with full-time work commitments.
Tash Byrne is a teacher at Queensland TAFE and a graduate of the Professional Honours course at the University of Tasmania.
“I’d been working at TAFE for 12 months when I learnt of the course. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to upgrade from my Certificate IV and gain a greater depth of understanding as a teacher,” Tash said.
“I currently teach 125 adult students and they bring such a diverse range of prior experience and understanding to the classroom. For me, one of the most valuable things to learn was how to work better with the individual student experience, and how to provide that individual sensitivity in developing a curriculum.”
Tash continued to work full-time in Queensland while studying her degree remotely, part-time.
“Studying online while working was a good balance because I could do the study in a timeframe that suited me instead of having to attend classes in-person.
“My lecturer, John, was fabulous and very supportive. With his guidance, it made the learning experience more like real ‘learning’ and not just a feeling of having to pass subjects.
“Now that I’ve done the degree, I’m always a big promoter of it to other teachers. I think it definitely adds value to who you are as a teacher and what you bring to the classroom.”
The Bachelor of Education with Professional Honours offers several areas of specialisation, so the degree can be tailored to fit the needs of teachers in a variety of different fields. Students can graduate the honours course, comprised of two core units and five elective units, in as little time as one year.
Sally Jones has 27 years of experience working in paramedicine, with duties that have included educator, management, and student mentor, and now also works as a psychotherapist based in Launceston. Sally studied the honours course to consolidate her teaching experience.
“As a paramedic, I’ve had responsibilities in working with new interns to mentor them throughout their internship and I have also worked as an educator for volunteer ambulance officers. In my role as a psychotherapist, there’s a lot of work in psychoeducation for both individual and group settings, so the degree has been quite relevant to both roles,” Sally said.
“The lecturers I had were friendly, available, and willing to help. Nothing was a bother. I still stay in touch with some of them even though I have finished my degree. Even though I was an online student, they were still very happy to catch up in-person whenever I was able to.”
Sally is now planning to study for a PhD, building on her previous experience with education, teaching, and working in the health industry. “This is a challenge I may not have taken on if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement that I received from the lecturers in my degree.”
“My research is going to be on volunteer ambulance officers, looking at their mental health and wellbeing and how we can improve systems to better support their emotional wellbeing, particularly in rural and remote regions of Tasmania.
“I hope to be able to develop some educational training programs as an outcome of my research. I like to support people to move towards a place of growth and change in both professional and personal areas of their life.”
“It certainly is a valuable degree to have, particularly for educating adults, because they really are the expert in their own learning: as teachers, we’re there to facilitate that learning. By having a degree that shows you how to best support that, and how to design programs that suit the adult learner, I believe you get better outcomes.”
The course is also a qualifying pathway to further study in a graduate certificate or master’s coursework in teaching.
Interested in studying the Bachelor of Education with Professional Honours at the University of Tasmania? Visit utas.edu.au/teacher-professional-developmentDo you have an idea for a story?
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