Eileen Bodey can see the changes she’s made in the lives of her students.
After 14 years with the UOW College, Eileen has seen hundreds of students pass through its doors and even after so many years she still gets a great sense of satisfaction from seeing her former students walking the grounds of the main University of Wollongong campus and completing under-graduate and post-graduate degrees.
Eileen started work at the College in 2008 first as a casual and then as a Subject Coordinator on the former University Access Program open to mature aged students. She works now as a Subject Coordinator and tutor on the Diploma program.
After completing an undergraduate degree, and a Masters degree at UOW, Eileen knows the ins and outs of student experiences and said the College offers those wanting to pursue a tertiary education a better foundation on which to succeed.
“The extra support offered at the College is very customised, especially the peer support program which is offered here,” she said.
“The students that work as part of that peer support have been through the subjects and know what they are talking about.
“It is customised support with students who are peer leaders, and who are at university themselves and I believe it is second to none – it is something the College does really well.
“The other thing we offer our College students is better scaffolding on how to do tasks. We show the students examples and templates which they may not get if they go straight into university, and this prepares them for the rigours of academic writing.”
Eileen said it is the success of all students, but particularly mature-aged students which gives her such job satisfaction.
“What I enjoy the most is seeing students that had at the back of their mind, that potentially they may go to university, but put it off for one reason or another because of work expectations or family expectations, but now want to have a try,” Eileen said.
“The College gives them the capacity to have a try and most students end up going through to university. I am still in contact with former students, and it is great to see that the College has opened the doors of a university education for them and all the things that go with that.
“It expands their mind to different ways of thinking and opportunities, travel and a better working situation. Many had come from jobs they didn’t want to do for the rest of their lives and who wanted to do something with their own creativity.
“A lot are also at a point where they wanted to give back and help society, like teaching or nursing, and their desire to get a degree is to contribute to society as well as the passion to learn they had in themselves.
“The College gives them the opportunity to have access to university and gives them a taste of life at the University of Wollongong.
“I always tell my students that they are in every way very much like a UOW student – they have access to the same facilities, and the College gives them the capacity for a smooth transition into university because after completing their time here, they know the systems.”
UOW College Australia