Even though she has a busy home life, Julie Dunn is excited about being able to embark on a new career path thanks to the support of SIT2LRN and her facilitators.
After completing a Registered Nursing Diploma out of high school and working in the psychiatric field for a decade, Julie moved to Australia, got married and had two children.
“Because my husband was a farmer, I left my nursing career behind and instead helped my husband on the farm and raised our two girls. When we returned to New Zealand and the girls were older I decided I wanted to gain the skills to work with special- needs children and the idea of being a learning support person appealed to me,” Julie said.
“I searched the internet for available distance learning courses as we lived out in the country and discovered a few options available, but the SIT2LRN New Zealand Certificate in Education Support and Care was exactly what I was looking for.
The course content sounded really appealing and the intake dates were flexible, which would enable me to continue my own workload at home and on the farm.”
Julie said the application process was straightforward when she enrolled for the New Zealand Certificate in Education Support and Care (Level 3) in May 2019.
The support and guidance provided by her facilitator had helped her adjust back into study and ensured she remained engaged.
“Throughout the course my facilitator was extremely supportive and very knowledgeable,” Julie said.
“At times I struggled to understand the questions in an assignment and my facilitator was always very helpful. After my assignments were marked and returned to me, there would be detailed comments about each aspect of the assignment. It was great to receive the positive feedback.”
During her practical intake at a primary school, the encouragement of her facilitator was also valuable.
“I had a few issues arise with one of the children I was working with. I could email my facilitator and receive professional words of wisdom from her, which was a huge relief,” she said.
“I absolutely loved the practical intake and worked alongside two five-year-old children who had autism. It was a challenge but very rewarding. I had to have my practical assignments seen by the special education needs co-ordinator at the school as part of the course requirements. She was so impressed with the content of the workload in the course that she asked all the other learning support people employed in the school if they would consider doing the course.”
The interaction with other students on the course had also added to the experience, she said.