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Chloe sets off on her dream career from high school

When Chloe Pearse wasn’t flourishing in a traditional high school learning environment she found a new way to study towards her dream career, which brought her to TAFE Queensland.

"High school never really was enough for me, and I wanted to learn in an environment where I could be myself, and I loved that from the age of 16 I was treated like an adult at TAFE," said Chloe.

"I was also interested in tertiary study after high school, but I wasn't sure what course was right for me. But TAFE at School really helped me realise what I wanted to study."

The TAFE at School program allows students to study for a qualification at TAFE while in high school, enabling them to join the workforce sooner, build practical skills, and graduate job ready, giving them a head start in the job market or enrol in further study.

Through the program, Chloe visited our South Bank campus one day each week to complete both a Certificate II in Community Services (CHC22015) and Certificate IV in Crime and Justice Studies (10283NAT) while still at school, under the guidance of teachers from the industry.

With a curiosity for crime and justice, a desire to help people, and a passion for drama, dance and music, Chloe decided to combine all of her interests into a career to use the arts as a form of therapy to help rehabilitate incarcerated youth.

"I want a career using the arts to help people because the arts have helped me so much. Through TAFE, I now have a start on doing that because I have an understanding of what people in the justice system go through," explained Chloe.

While initially nervous about studying in a tertiary environment, Chloe was at ease when she set foot on campus on day one.

"For the first time in my studying life, I didn't have to wear a uniform, and my teachers made me feel welcome by treating me like a grown-up from the start."

"My classmates were also as passionate as I was about the courses, and we routinely picked out teachers brains about anything and everything related to our studies, life and their experiences."

"I learned so much at TAFE, and I was able to use things like essay writing, referencing and how to approach an assessment in my school work."

"I don't think I could've graduated high school without the knowledge I gained from TAFE, and the certificates I earned got me into university, which wouldn't have been possible without TAFE."

During both her courses, Chloe was given a theoretical base knowledge applied in a practical, hands-on way that suited her learning style perfectly.

"We learnt using real-life case studies, role play and scripts that were interesting, and it suited me because I don't like just sitting there, I like to do - and it was so motivating."

"The theory side gave me a taste of what university would be like and gave me confidence that I can enrol in tertiary study and achieve what I want to, to build the career of my dreams."

Thanks to attending TAFE at School and getting the support she needed from her teachers and classmates alike, she's confident that she can successfully graduate from university and work in an industry she's passionate about.

Chloe, whose enthusiasm and energy have seen her win TAFE at School's Graduate of the Year, is now looking forward to continuing her studies as she embarks on a bachelor of drama. She credits TAFE Queensland for getting her the motivation and preparation she needed.

“TAFE gave me a taste of studying crime and justice, which was perfect because I had so many career ideas and pathways that I wanted to explore. It was such a great course to do while in school to help me decide what direction to go in university, instead of starting a degree and being unsure.”

"I would encourage everyone to study what they're passionate about through TAFE at School – it was exactly what I was looking for.

“I was learning what I was passionate about, and the knowledge and experience I gained in the supportive learning environment was invaluable. It’s given me the confidence to enol in university studies and I feel sets up for success," concluded Chloe.