Strategic communications expert and University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) graduate Sarah Dib has worked in many different roles since graduating high school.

From working in a law firm to back-of-house in a hotel, front-of-house in the corporate world, and finally finding a place in the internal communications team at one of Australia’s largest super funds, Ms Dib has gained valuable experience across many different sectors.

Thanks to a new Professional Practice Minor at UniSQ, it was all experience Ms Dib could use to her advantage to fast-track her bachelor’s degree.

The Professional Practice Minor – a newly-introduced Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) – recognises the formal, non-formal (professional development experience) and informal (work experience) skills students have gained in prior employment or life experience.

Ms Dib said the recognition of her prior skills in the workforce shaved four units off her Bachelor of Communications and Media, or the equivalent of six months of full-time study. “The Professional Practice Minor reinvigorated my sense of achievement; it was like the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ms Dib said. “It was taking me on the path to where I wanted to go that little bit quicker while also allowing me to reflect on all of my work and accomplishments. That was probably one of the highlights for me – just reflecting on the past 10 years of working and being reminded of all I’ve done: the growth, the opportunities, the recognition and personal development along the way.”

UniSQ’s Professional Practice Minor is the first of its kind and will reshape the way formal education values students’ experiences from all walks of life. Dean of Academic Transformation Professor Lyn Alderman said UniSQ was uniquely placed to offer this Professional Practice Minor. “UniSQ values every student, and we believe the experience and skills you bring are just as valuable,” Professor Alderman said.

“We strongly believe that we can fast-track your studies through individual assessment. As a university with a high proportion of mature-age and part-time students, UniSQ’s student cohort is well placed to take up this fantastic opportunity.” If you’re interested in studying a Professional Practice Minor with UniSQ, get in touch via email at [email protected].

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