STEPS lecturer Helen Holden, Sally Ransom and daughter Emily, Toni Cirson, Katie Bermingham, Analyn Hughes and Monal Ghosal.
STEPS lecturer Helen Holden, Sally Ransom and daughter Emily, Toni Cirson, Katie Bermingham, Analyn Hughes and Monal Ghosal.

Mothers juggle children, university in STEPS to future

THE first day in a classroom can be overwhelming for anyone - but a group of CQUni Gladstone students found an instant bond when they met on campus for the first time.

The five students are completing CQUniversity's popular Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) program by distance education, and this week discovered all five are mums, juggling young kids with a return to study.

Katie Bermingham, who has four-year-old twin boys, said a recent health complication jolted her into the decision.

"I'm hoping to finish STEPS and do a Bachelor of Education, and to teach secondary school."

Monal Ghosal, who plans to do health sciences after she completes STEPS, said her kids were already at school - but she didn't want to be stuck in class when they were on holidays.

"Being a mother does mean you plan around your children - so it's good to be able to do that, and still get study done," Monal said.

Sally Ransom, who's aiming for Nursing and Midwifery, was on campus with her daughter Emily.

Sally said she'd surprised herself with her ability to juggle study and family.

And aspiring psychologist Toni Cirson, who juggles kids, work and study, agreed that success hitting the books had been unexpected.

The STEPS program is a free bridging opportunity, which gives students without an OP or who are returning to study as adults a direct pathway into a degree.

It takes between one and six semesters to complete. Head to CQUniversity's Open Day at Gladstone Marina campus on Sunday from 9am-2pm.

Visit www.cqu.edu.au/steps for more information.