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career 3 min read

How Head Start will get you ahead of the pack

By Ashley 21 Jul 2019
Young girl using laptop.


High school – the place where all the decisions that need to be made regarding your future are supposed to be made, and an action plan to follow through on them is created. Or so they say. Everyone’s post-school path to adulthood and a career is different and mine started when I was still in Year 12 and undertook USQ’s Head Start program.

USQ’s Head Start Program is offered to high-achieving students who are motivated to commence their university studies before graduating high school. Upon successful completion of the program, you are provided with guaranteed entry into a USQ degree (provided other degree-specific entry requirements are met) as well as credit points towards this degree, points towards your QCE and the first course is free!

Head Start found its way onto my radar after some USQ Student Ambassadors visited my school and shared their experiences of how they came to study at USQ. I decided I wanted to attend USQ because it was close to home (four hours), had small classes, I could study my degree of choice full-time and on-campus and because USQ is the number one university in Queensland for graduates entering full-time work. One Student Ambassador in particular spoke about her experience with the Head Start program and I realised that it would give me the ultimate advantage in my plans to head to uni. It would give me a glimpse into what university would be like and what would be expected of me during full-time study as well as minimising the scare-factor (a little) when I finally did step onto campus.

Once I started the program, I chose to study a business course (Accounting for Decision Making) to give me a taste of my dream degree. It turned out that I was definitely onto something with my passion to be an accountant, as I really enjoyed the course and started to look forward to my uni studies more than ever. But remember, your first Head Start course is free, so even if you do complete the course and decide that maybe that study area isn’t for you after all, you haven’t lost anything. In fact, you’ve gained a clearer idea of where your passions lie!

If you’re thinking the Head Start program sounds like just the program you’ve been waiting for, here are some of the things to consider and factor in before you apply.

School work

Your school studies need to come first. Remember, you are still a high school student and that is your main priority right now. If you do decide that you don’t have time or energy for Head Start right now, there will still be plenty of time for uni after you finish Year 12.

Your social life

You might have dancing, band or sports training in addition to school, so these extra activities should also be factored into your decision. The extra time needed for study will have to come from somewhere, but you don’t want to have to sacrifice everything you enjoy. You still need to enjoy your senior years of school!

Talk to your parents/guardians

These trusted adults know you, your study habits and your personality so they’re in a good place to give you advice about how much extra study you could take on.

Talk to your school teachers/career counsellors 

You’ll need to put together an application to be a Head Start student, so this is where your teachers or guidance officers can help.


USQ is able to support you 100% during your Head Start course and will be able to answer all your queries about uni study.

The Head Start program has been the best thing I have done for my future career and I would do it again in a heartbeat! It was a wonderful experience and you even have a graduation evening with other Head Start students!

To find out more about how you can get a head start on your career, visit the Head Start website.

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