Teching in Coffs
By MEL MARTIN
THE Coffs Coast's future primary school teachers will no longer have to leave the area to undertake tertiary studies. From 2006, Southern Cross University (SCU) Coffs Harbour campus will offer a Bachelor of Primary Education and will expand its graduate teacher training programs for secondary teachers. "We're delighted to be able to provide this (bachelor) course at Coffs Harbour, so that students wanting to pursue a career in primary education have the local option of this respected degree," head of the School of Education at Southern Cross University Professor Martin Hayden said. "We've had requests from principals up and down the coast saying they've got a great many students wanting to study primary education, and they're saying they would prefer to study close to home. "So we're addressing that need. "It's an opportunity for students to train in their own region." Secondary teachers will also be able to complete their studies closer to home with SCU's graduate teacher training programs to be expanded. "Our expanded programs at SCU are an opportunity for local graduates thinking of becoming teachers to train in their own region," SCU secondary education coordinator Brian Kean said. Dr Kean added secondary teachers were in high demand not only in Australia, but internationally. "Whether you want to work in Cape York or New York, it is a very solid career," Dr Kean said. "The qualification is international and portable. It's dealing with people and no longer poorly paid. "It's a relevant qualification and in 20 years time the qualification will still be current." And that portability is only one of the many things that attracted trainee teacher Mark Fraser, 27 to the profession. "I'm also attracted to teaching because it's working with people," he said. "I've always thought it could be a way of making a difference in someone's life. It can impact, be an influence." n If you want to become a primary school teacher or to study at SCU call 1800 626 481.