New Zealand Tertiary College celebrated its 2012 graduation ceremony on the 18th of April at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell – an occasion made all the more special in the College’s 30th anniversary year.
The achievements of a record 438 graduates were honoured in the company of family members, friends, NZTC staff and sector representatives.
The graduands, adorned in their academic regalia of black hoods and purple stoles, commenced the formal celebrations at 4:15pm with a ‘Walk of Honour’ around the vicinity so that they could be publicly recognised.
The ceremony began at 5pm with a pohiri to welcome the official party into the cathedral. The party was made up of Professor Colin Gibbs, Glennie Oborn and Allan Wendelborn (NZTC co-founders), Selena Fox (Chief Executive), Saras Pillay (Academic Dean) and Kathryn Cattell White (Academic Registrar). The kai karanga (callers) were Trish Thomas (Program Manager, South Island) and Sonja Arndt (Senior Lecturer).
The staff team sang Hutia te Rito, NZTC’s official waiata.
Master of Ceremonies Jodie Brick welcomed everyone and introduced NZTC’s Chief Executive Selena Fox.
Selena detailed the College’s history, beginning in 1982 as a College of 12 students through to the present day with over 1,200 students studying in New Zealand and beyond. A slideshow containing images from NZTC’s 30 year history was played. She challenged the graduates to “walk forward embracing [NZTC] values as your own in your professional years ahead. You had the vision; you have heart and now new competence. Continue to wrap these values in grace-filled spirit as you make a difference in the lives of young children.”
Then it was time for the awarding of certificates. During this time we honoured 13 graduates of the Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)*, 158 graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) and 267 graduates of the Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education).
A range of Special Commendation awards were also presented to students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in assessment and practice.
Grant Prodger, who earlier received his Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE), gave the Graduate’s Response. He acknowledged the many sacrifices the graduates have had to make to complete their qualifications and challenged them to “always believe in the children in [your] care.”
A slideshow of images of the graduates at work was played.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the national anthem and the leaving of the official party.
Graduates and their guest later mixed over refreshments.
New Zealand Tertiary College extends a warm congratulations to all of our 2012 graduates.
*The Diploma of Teaching (ECE) has been phased out by the Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)
A word with Prasanna Singh – Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) graduate
We sat down with recent graduate Prasanna Singh to learn about her experiences as an international student at New Zealand Tertiary College.
NZTC: Congratulations on completing your Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)! Can you take us back to the beginning and tell us why you decided to study this qualification at NZTC?
Prasanna: I was in search of a professional qualification in New Zealand which would allow me to gain long term stable career and skills for the lifetime. Early childhood education seemed to be the best option and thus I decided to pursue further qualification in this field. While discussing the various appropriate options with Neeraj Luthra of Indopacific Services, he mentioned NZTC. I was glad to know that NZTC offered this course via online learning method; that’s exactly what I was looking for. I was also delighted to know that it was only a 50 week program providing extensive practical experience to excel as an early childhood teacher. For a fresher like me, enrolling in the course which is approved and accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and has New Zealand Teachers Council recognition enabling me to be a registered teacher in New Zealand, gave me immense confidence in my choice.
NZTC: How did you find studying via NZTC Online, NZTC’s unique online learning environment?
Prasanna: NZTC Online is indeed the best option to enable students like me to maintain a balance between study with work and family commitments. It also makes student life easy as all the course study materials and academic resources are available online, so one doesn’t have to worry about the library due dates, taking care of books etc. There is 24-7 online learning community available to provide help and resources whenever required. Submitting assessments and receiving marked assessments online is definitely convenient.
NZTC: What were some challenges you faced as an international student and how did NZTC support you to overcome them?
Prasanna: Since I was new to New Zealand, I struggled to get a placement in a licensed early childhood. I am really thankful to NZTC's support team for their guidance and prompt support in helping me to secure a placement in a Kindercare Learning Centre. NZTC’s support team made every effort to make my life easy while I was away from my home country. NZTC’s International team supported me and extended help whenever I needed throughout my course. Today I am a confident full-time registered early childhood teacher in the same prestigious centre, utilising my loads of hands-on experience gained during my course.
NZTC: How do you feel your qualification has benefited you as a teacher?
Prasanna: The various field practices and 16 hours weekly work in the centre provided opportunities to learn and grow as a teacher. The diverse and rich curriculum is designed to give us clear understanding of early childhood education’s various aspects in such a short span of time. The entire course revolves around nurturing the students to become professional and responsible teachers. Thanks to the enormous reflective work required throughout the course, I have been able to reflect constantly upon my own teaching practices, various situations and approaches. This is indeed helping me in becoming a better teacher day by day.
NZTC: What would you say to a beginning early childhood student?
Prasanna: Choosing early childhood as a profession should be a well thought over decision. I strongly believe that the responsibility of a teacher is to literally take care of the future of the world. As a teacher, you possess a tremendous power to make or break a child's life. Create good memories; love them like your own. Support them, encourage them; build their confidence and their self-e steem. Above all respect them. Strong dedication and hard work is required to excel in this field. Just believe in yourself, be an optimist and give it your best shot.
NZTC: What is the next step for you in your professional journey?
Prasanna: As a teacher, every day brings new learning. Thus to challenge myself and to polish my professional skills, I aim to expand my horizon by pursuing higher-level academic study. I will shortly enrol for the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE) offered by NZTC.
NZTC: Is there anything else you would like to add about your experiences as a graduate of NZTC?
Prasanna: It should be a great relief for every student planning to enrol with NZTC to know that the entire College staff are really cooperative and understanding. Help is just a phone call or an email away, you just need to ask for it.
For more information on NZTC’s specialist early childhood programs of study please contact us on (09) 520 4000 or email interna firstname.lastname@example.org