UniSA College celebrates 10 years of changing lives

By Ashleigh Ebert

Katherine Burrows Katherine Burrows, who completed a Diploma in Arts at UniSA College (2014) followed by a Bachelor of Social Work at UniSA, now works for the South Australian Government as a social work case manager.

For 10 years, UniSA College has been changing lives – providing options for those looking for an alternative pathway to university.

The College offers a second chance to many students, instilling confidence and supporting a smooth transition into higher education and beyond.

This year, UniSA College marks its 10th anniversary.

Former student Katherine Burrows, who commenced a Diploma in Arts shortly after UniSA College was established, says her experiences at the College shaped who she is today.

Having found out months before that she hadn’t achieved the desired ATAR for a Social Work degree, things became overwhelming.

“The thought of entering a new environment scared me,” Burrows says. “I feared change, going from the comfort of high school, where teachers supported and motivated you to do the work, to what I thought was all self-motivated and self-driven work.

“I walked in [to Open Day] and felt completely overcome by the options. All seemed unattainable.”

But that changed when she found out about UniSA College.

Burrows applied for the Diploma in Arts and hoped that it would be the perfect stepping stone. She received an offer and was eager to start.

One thing she noticed was the support offered to everyone – high school, international and mature-age students.

UniSA College programs and the College community helps break down barriers to show students the expectations of university, with added support.

“My experience at the College was fantastic as I was able to meet like-minded people, supportive lecturers, and tutors,” Burrows says.

“I really excelled with my grades and that induced a sense of confidence in my abilities that, before this, I had never experienced.”

The College provides students with opportunities to learn and grow in a university environment that promotes academic achievement and the desire to continue learning.

Burrows completed the program in 2014 and continued her study through the Bachelor of Social Work, an area she had become extremely passionate about. She says her graduation was momentous.

“I graduated in April 2018 – it was an amazing experience to walk across the stage in my gown and mortarboard with the people I had spent the last four years studying with,” she says. 

“On my graduation I saw one of my first lecturers from UniSA College and I was able to get a picture with her. It was one of my proudest moments of personal growth and signified that full circle of my university journey, from start to finish.”

After graduating, Burrows was offered a position in the organisation where she completed her final placement and is now working for the South Australian Government as a social work case manager.

Burrows has good memories of her time at UniSA and says UniSA College provided many opportunities and was instrumental to her success.

“Being a student was one of the best parts of my life, a foundation for who I am now,” she says. “It was, and is, an identity for me – a group where I will always belong.”

More UniSA College student stories, like Burrows’, can be found at the UniSA College 10 Year Celebration page.