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Studying disability online with Open Colleges

by Yvette Maurice

David Soccio

*This article was last updated on March 31, 2020*
Tom Colwell didn’t plan a career in disability services. In fact,he came across his study path almost by accident. Here, he shares his story with Open Colleges.
“I originally enrolled in the CHC30408 Certificate III in Disability to get a job that would support me while studying for a university degree in occupational therapy. Once I started work in the field, however, I found I really enjoyed it and I am now considering delaying my university studies to concentrate on this job,” explains Tom.

Tom, who lives in North Adelaide, preferred the Open Colleges online course over some of the ones he found that were being offered by his local TAFE. His Open Colleges course provided the flexibility to start his study when it suited him.

“I wanted to begin my Certificate III straight away, and not wait for the next TAFE course to start, and Open Colleges allowed me to do this.

This is something that many of our students and graduates agree is a huge benefit to studying online. As our online courses are self-paced, you can begin studying straight away, instead of having to wait for the next intake.

In the same vein, with no classrooms to attend, no exams to sit, and no assessment deadlines, an online course is designed to work around your lifestyle.

Studying online means that you can study anywhere, anytime, so long as you have a device and an internet connection.

This could be your lounge room while the kids are taking their afternoon nao. It could be at your favourite coffee shop on a relaxed Saturday morning. Or it could be for a few hours after you’ve arrived home from work.

However, whenever and wherever you choose to study, the choice is yours. The most important thing is that you find the right style that works for you.

Studying online doesn’t mean you have to study alone

A common misconception about online study is that without a physical classroom, you’re left to your own devices to complete your course.

While it is up to you to stay focused and motivated, you are definitely not in this alone!

“The course itself was great, with plenty of tutor and fellow-student support via the online portal, if you need it,” says Tom, who adds, “I just got down and applied myself to the assignments but it is important to be self-motivated and to have a work plan.”

One of the benefits of joining the OC community is that you’re part of a large online community of people who are all in the same boat as you.

In OpenSpace, our world-class online learning platform, you can connect with other OC students and bounce ideas off one another, despite the fact you’re not sitting in the same classroom together.

In addition to this, you’ll also have access to our student support team. Our friendly, knowledgeable team members are here to answer all your questions and to help give you tips on staying motivated. Everyone prefers different modes of communication, so you can drop them a line, send them an email, or get in touch with them through live chat on our website.

Online Study could change your life

Several life experiences have exposed Tom to the challenges faced by people with a disability and he empathises with those difficulties. “I work with various groups of disabled people for the Class agency in Adelaide, and I find the process of building relationships with my clients to be very satisfying.”

For Tom, he found his calling after completing his Certificate III in Disability.

Though this wasn’t the path he intended to take when he first started out, it had a profound effect on him nonetheless.

Whether you’re looking to enter the workforce for the first time, change careers, get back into the workforce, or want to upskill to make you more employable, Open Colleges offer a range of different online courses that can help you reach your goals.

Find out just how we can help you find your ideal career path. Leave a comment to let us know what you think. 

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