Foundation program sets a new course for Zoe

Zoe Horton
Zoe Horton flanked by Dr Michael X Savvas (left) and Associate Professor Salah Kutieleh

Beware the Foundation Studies Program at Flinders – it can change your life.

Just ask 26-year old Zoe Horton, who was among the 60 students to attend the recent completion ceremony for the course.

Zoe has never studied at tertiary level, and said that as a full-time mother since the age of 18, her only work experience had been in part-time bar and sales work.

Next year, she will begin a degree in psychology at Flinders.

She said her motivation in undertaking the Foundation Studies Program (FSP) was to explore her potential, achieve a  qualification and provide a role model for her young daughter.

As well as equipping its students with the necessary skills to undertake tertiary study and to qualify for entry into an undergraduate degree, FSP enables them to narrow in on their areas of academic interest.

Although apprehensive – she says she “did badly” at school – Zoe found her return to study thoroughly enjoyable.

“I loved the course so much,” she said.

As well as learning the specifics of academic study – “how to do referencing, how to structure an essay” – Zoe said the Foundation course had built her confidence and prepared her for the demands of a university degree.

“I’m going in with an idea of what I can do, and what is expected of me,” she says.

Zoe has had strong support from her family – both of her parents saw her receive her certificate, and, she says, “whistled and screamed”.

Armed with a set of good results from the course, Zoe is intending to commence her psychology degree next year.

The ceremony was attended by close to 200 friends, partners and family members. Many of the completing students, who wore academic dress, will begin their chosen degrees at Flinders in second semester.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Andrew Parkin addressed the group and presented students with their certificates of completion, while Foundation Studies Program director Dr Michael X Savvas and Associate Professor Salah Kutieleh of the Transition Office also spoke, along with inspirational former Foundation Studies students Mr Peter Koffi and Ms Rita Chahoud.

The ceremony, held in the Health Sciences building, helped the students to go out on a high note, Dr Savvas said.

“It was a great way to boost the students’ confidence that we have developed throughout the Foundation Studies Program, and which they can hopefully take with them into their undergraduate studies,” he said.


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