High School Alternatives: Year 11 and 12 with a twist

Let's chat about high school alternatives.

8 Sep 2016

We caught up with the Operations Manager of TAFE Queensland Brisbane’s Senior Studies program, Jaqueline Smollet, to chat about traditional high school alternatives, and why they’re so important.

Education is about more than just what we teach. It’s about how we teach.

While traditional classroom environments successfully educate many students, there are still those who thrive in a non-traditional environment.

There are many reasons that someone may drop out of the high school system, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t succeed in an academic or vocational setting. It’s not our job to try and fit a square peg into a round hole. It’s our job to find the square hole through high school alternatives.

The Conversation talks about education being a cornerstone of a successful community – not only does it benefit individuals, but society as a whole. A one-size fits all model can result in disengaged students which benefits no-one.

Who should consider studying through high school alternatives?

smiling girl on green background - high school alternatives

Providing students with an engaging education in an adult learning environment, is sometimes the key to unlocking their full potential. Some students need to be able to balance work and study and a flexible solution in these instances is traditional high school alternatives.

High school alternatives, such as the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCAA) (Certificate of Education Year 11 and 12 (CN920), which focus on forging relationships with mentors and vocational training, appeal to students who struggle in traditional classroom settings and give students the option to get their grade 11 and 12 certificate alongside either an OP score or vocational training.

Our philosophy is to prepare students, regardless of their previous academic ability, for the challenge of study.


It is important to support and enable students to set and achieve clear and realistic goals for their future. We need to give them the confidence and belief that they can succeed, that they can achieve those goals.

Choose the path that suits you

One of the benefits of undertaking vocational education alongside the Queensland Certificate of Education is the direct access to over 100 Diploma and higher education programs through TAFE Queensland Brisbane with the opportunity to fast track their entry into further study, which offers job outcomes sooner.

For students who plan to enter university after completing their Year 11 and 12, it is also possible to achieve an OP score, as well as sit the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) test and get a tertiary rank. To paint a clearer picture, our Senior Studies students enjoy learning in a uniform-free environment where they have the freedom to make the choice best suited to themselves.

Adam Rosewarne chose high school alternatives as his senior studies
Adam chose to do high school his way

Mentor programs support students, enabling them to set and achieve clear and realistic goals for their future. Direct access to willing employers via industry liaison days gives them the opportunity to ask questions and form relationships with their potential future bosses.

Class of 2015 graduate Adam Rosewarne says that TAFE Queensland Brisbane provided the perfect option for him to complete Year 12. Adam thrived in the course and was awarded the Student of the Year, Best Student for pre-vocational Math and Best Student in Music. He attributes his success to the teachers and their alternative style.

“They didn’t treat you like a student in school. You weren’t treated like sheep, but as individuals, adults. I also liked that they used a variety of teaching styles; auditory, visual and kinaesthetic so everyone benefits. I’m a kinaesthetic learner so that really helped me.”

For us, education isn’t just about a certificate, it’s about showing students what they can achieve and helping them to achieve it.

Come to our information evening to find out more

Students and parents are invited to join us for a fun and friendly night to find out more about the program and to meet our excellent teachers. Discover the high school alternatives available, including VET courses and OP pathways. This will be the first step toward making 2017 a year to remember.

Register now to reserve your seat.
Location: Alexandra Hills Campus, A Block, Windemere Road, Alexandra Hills
Date: Tuesday, 13 September
Time: 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm

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