What happens when you choose the wrong degree or institution? It's a simple question that many new students come face-to-face with and are often too afraid to explore. It's completely natural to feel uncertain at the start of your studies, but if this feeling defines your study experience or raises questions about the outcome of your career, facing your doubts can help you make an informed decision that's right for you. If changing degrees and coming to Collarts is something that has crossed your mind, here's a few things to know when making the switch.
Give yourself permission to put yourself, your mental health and your career first
If you have enrolled in a course and it has not been what you expected, just know it's totally normal to feel disappointed. We want you to know it's not as uncommon as you think—at Collarts alone, we get a surprising number of students transferring from other courses due to the lack of opportunities and community at their previous institution. If you're considering your options, don't let regret sabotage your passion—give yourself permission to put you, your mental health and your career first because that's what matters most.
For Monica Gan Wilcox, a student who transferred to Collarts recently, her old institution failed to deliver on the promises she'd been given during enrolment. As Monica advised, "I was already studying Entertainment Management at another institute, however, I was three weeks in and wasn’t enjoying it. I made the choice to instead study with Collarts. Even though they offer the same degree, I think it’s important to look over course structures, course duration and what opportunities they offer as these things can really make or break your degree experience!"
Know your Census Date and stand up for your rights
If you're currently thinking of switching to Collarts, it's good to pay attention to your Census Date and the official protocol of your institution. The Census Date, which can differ depending on your place of study, is the last day you can withdraw from a subject or a course, alongside the option to apply for a leave of absence, without remaining liable to pay or it appearing on your academic transcript. Put simply, Census Date is a kind of grace period where you're able to swap degrees without financial or academic consequence.
Although Census Date varies between institutions, most fall within the first few weeks of the beginning of your degree. If you're considering transferring after your Census Date, you may be eligible to a post-census remission of debt—a fancy term for a refund—under special circumstances, which are decided ultimately by your institution. With this all in mind, researching your rights around Census Date and if your situation falls under special circumstances can inform your decision, along with the best action forward for your future.
Music Production student Jerry Agbinya performing as Crooked Letter at Peel Street Festival. Jerry has a degree in Architecture, but decided to follow his real passion for music. "At Collarts, I’ve learned a lot about music production and engineering; stuff that's really connected to me and really fielded my music to get better," he shared in an interview.
Check out if you're eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning
Your past efforts don't have to go to waste when switching degrees. If you have decided to come to Collarts, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can be a fantastic option for taking advantage of the subjects you have completed so far. Designed to acknowledge your academic background, skills and attributes you have gained through previous study or work experiences, RPL reduces your course load, financial costs and chances of repeating subjects.
All RPL is assessed by Collarts internally, with a specific application form and process. Depending on your previous experiences, your application for RPL will need supporting documentation, and we encourage you to have the conversation about RPL as soon as you decide to apply. You can read more about RPL here on our website!
Explore online study options if you need motivation
Self-learning is one of the biggest ways online study empowers you to achieve your career goals. If you're hesitant to begin another university course, online study can be a way to guarantee what you learn at a personal level. Instead of battling time trying to balance study, work, hobbies and socialising, online study can be a great stepping stone into getting yourself re-motivated to follow your career path again.
With no physical class sessions, you can complete lectures and assignments at your own pace, with the flexibility to choose when, where and how you study empowering you to learn in a way that suits you. Collarts is now offering Interior Design and Animation & VFX in 2019 as online courses, with options to be blended (online and on campus) depending on what you want to achieve or how you learn best.
Remember that you deserve a community that cares, supports and inspires you
When you study at an institution, you may feel as if you owe it to your classmates and your teachers to follow-through on to completion. Even though your situation makes you unhappy, we want you to know again, that students transferring is far more common than you think and that you deserve to be part of a community that genuinely—and we mean genuinely—cares about your happiness. At Collarts, our students and staff have this incredible sense of community, so much so that we even had students design an entire game about studying at Collarts.
If you have Instagram, we encourage you to jump on Instagram Story Highlights and see how industry connected, student-focused and opportunity-rich we are. We also encourage you to reach out to our Future Student Team by calling 1300 818 777, where they can give you everything you need to know about our industry placement, exchange opportunities, courses and more. After all, community and the opportunities that come from your degree matter—and studying is all about setting yourself up for a successful, connected career.