Australian Style of Education: Two Common Misconceptions

20 Sep 2019

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We understand that when it comes to choosing where to study, the options can seem overwhelming! And if you’ve ever considered the vocational style of education that Hillsong College provides, then you may have some questions. Two common misconceptions in regard to vocational training at Hillsong College are these:

1. Vocational education doesn’t aid you in the pursuit of a degree.

2. Not all semesters are considered equal in regard to beginning your studies.

Keep reading to find out how we break the mould!

What is Vocational Education?

At Hillsong College, our premier courses in ministry and leadership are our Vocational Education Training courses (VET). These are our Certificate IV, Diploma, and Advanced Diplomas in Ministry where you can specialise in Pastoral Leadership, Worship Music, Dance, Film & TV, and Production. Vocational education is different than degree-based education at your traditional university because while the latter focuses on writing essays and examinations, vocational education focuses on providing practical and work-oriented occupational skills. In short, traditional bricks-and-mortar universities often focus on theory while vocational courses focus on the practical. Our vocational courses are designed to teach you how to doministry, not just how to thinkabout ministry.

Other countries have vocational education as well. For example, in the United States vocational education is sometimes called Career and Technical Education (CTE) and vocational schools are known as trade schools or technical colleges. CTE training can often happen in high school before students finish. Differently, in Australia and the UK high school students are only required to stay in high school until Year 10 (or 16 years of age). After this they can go into study at college, vocational courses, or work full-time. For prospective students from the United States, it can be helpful to think of our vocational program like working towards acquiring your “associate degree”.

Unlike the educational system in the United States, for example, the Australian educational system is centralised, which means that any course whether vocational or degree-based must be regulated and accredited by the Australian government. This means that all our vocational awards (Certificate IV, Diploma, etc.) are designed to flow seamlessly into Bacheloror Master’sprograms with Hillsong College or partnership universities across the world. So, if you do 3 years at Hillsong College in our vocational programs, you’ll be able to transfer your credits to one of our educational partners to work towards finishing a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

All across the world our alumni can be found influencing nations, churches, families, companies and industries. The hands-on experience students receive in our vocational coursesprepares each onefor a life of impact no matter what field they are interested in.

Do students miss anything by starting in our January semester?

At Hillsong College, we break the education year down into semesters. For our Australian campuses those semesters begin in July and January. At our American campus semesters begin in August and January. Many people ask if their education content and quality vary depending on which semester they join. And the answer is simple: no and here’s why…

For our vocational program, especially in the first two years, the courses provided are fixed per stream and do not vary. Meaning that students who begin in our January intakes do not miss any classes or content by starting classes “mid-year”. Making it simple for students to choose the best time of year for them. Many students choose to join us for our January intake for various reasons. Including: working extra hours and saving funds, spending time with family, travel or it being the ideal time for their lives.