Different journey, but same destination for JCU students


Your career aspirations need not be ruined just because your Australian Tertiary Admission Rank  (ATAR) doesn’t meet university entry requirements.

That’s the message from  James Cook University (JCU) Pathways Programs’ Student Support Officer, Georgia Storm, who works with potential students to find alternate pathways to university if they have either a low or no ATAR.

“There are many pathways into study now,” she said.

“It’s not an open and shut case just because your ATAR does not meet the course requirement.”

Pathways can include alternative entry through work experience, bridging courses, existing qualifications from a VET or TAFE institution, or applying for credit for both previous study or non-formal learning.

In some cases, students are able to complete additional online study, including a Diploma of Higher Education, over the course of a semester to qualify for entry into bachelor courses through JCU.

“I want to assure people that it is possible to pursue a career involving university study, even when you’re an adult, and even if you didn’t score well at school,” Georgia said.

Mount Isa-based Georgia assists potential students apply and enrol for alternative pathways, links them to Pathways advisors in Cairns and Townsville, and assists them with their course.

The Pathways program has enabled  Mount Isa-based JCU Nursing students, Carmela Briones and Simmone Robinson-Cotter, to gain entry into the Bachelor of Nursing Science.

Carmela, originally from The Philippines, said she had insufficient credits for English for direct entry into the course,  but was able to successfully complete online a Diploma of Higher Education to satisfy entry requirements.

She’s now enrolled in her first year of the Bachelor of Nursing Science with her eyes set on a nursing career.

“There are many job opportunities in nursing, and it is only because I completed an alternative pathway, that I have been able to pursue my dream,” Carmela said.

Fellow student Simmone had a similar experience, although she only decided after ten years in the workforce, that she wanted to become a nurse

Her ATAR did not meet direct entry requirements into nursing, but by successfully studying the Diploma of Higher Education she was able to lift her score to study nursing and now wants to become a midwife.  

If you’re interested in an alternative pathway into JCU contact Georgia on  07 4744 8171, or make an appointment to meet with her at the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Mount Isa.

Back to List

A Commonwealth funded Department of Rural Health
in collaboration with: