STUDENTS wanting to study teaching could end up going before a selection board of principals to get into university.
That is just one of the options Charles Sturt University (CSU) will look at if Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli rejects their proposal to allow students with a lower ATAR mark into CSU.
Another option could be students come out with a degree allowing them to teach from kindergarten to year 12.
The minister announced reforms earlier in the year where students need to have a minimum of three band five HSC results and a minimum ATAR mark of around 75 to study teaching.
According to CSU executive dean of the faculty of education Professor Toni Downes, the average ATAR of students studying teaching is about 65.
The majority of students would not be eligible to study teaching, so CSU have proposed a type of bridging course to bring students up to scratch on their English and maths skills and will take their proposal to the Department of Education and Communities in the next few weeks.
But they have until 2016 to refine their plans if they are rejected.
“Only about 15 per cent come in with an ATAR mark, many of our students are mature age or just needed a year or two to grow up before going to university,” she said.
“An ATAR is only a predictor of a student’s capability.”
CSU take students off recommendations from principals and Professor Downes said about 70 per cent of the time the students did well.
“How good do you have to be to get into university?” she said.
“Good enough to engage with study.
“Some do not succeed and they do leave bit we’re pretty tough on those who do not engage.”
Another option the university is looking at is allowing students to graduate with primary and secondary teaching degrees so they can combat the shortage of teachers in rural areas.
Currently early childhood teachers can teach from preschool to year 6 and secondary graduates can only teach in high school.
“There needs to be a bit of flexibility, particularly in small towns,” she said.
However, among the reforms CSU might have to consider is accepting fewer students but that is an option the university is not keen to take up, Professor Downes said.
She rejected the notion that a proposed pay rise would encourage more academic students to take up the degree.
“The world is a funny place where teachers, nurses, police and social workers, anyone working with people do it for a passion, not for making money,” she said.
“They should be paid more and they deserve more but it won’t attract more students necessarily.”