UCOL Te Pūkenga Wairarapa graduates and their achievements were celebrated at the end-of-year U Skills Graduation last week.
More than 250 people attended the event at the Carterton Events Centre, bringing together students, family, school principals, career advisors, and Ministry of Education representatives.
Director of UCOL Te Pūkenga Wairarapa Carrie Mckenzie told the Times-Age that the school had seen a huge increase in students undertaking vocational education programmes, where in 2015, there were only 54 students, and this year nearly 200 students had participated in Wairarapa-based Trades Academy programmes in the 16 study options.
Each student was handed a certificate of attendance, and three additional awards were awarded to six students [including runner-ups] for the most dedicated, most improved, and most outstanding student for each campus.
“Many of our graduates are entering the workforce of their chosen area, or returning to study on our full-time programmes or returning to school,” Mckenzie said.
The winner of the Outstanding Award – Maia Wilson – said she decided to enrol in the Early Childhood Programme [ECP] because she was unsure of what to do once she finished school.
“I was lucky enough to be placed in an amazing centre filled with lovely staff and children, where I now have a job because of this course and the staff ain ECE are some of the kindest and helpful people, which makes the course so much more enjoyable.”
Due to a large number of students showing improvement throughout the year, each award included a runner-up in this year’s graduation, as well as overall winners for each category.
The following students were nominated by their lecturer:
Improvement Award – for the ākonga [student] who has shown the most improvement across the year in areas such as increased attitude, self-confidence, commitment to both school and UCOL and willingness for tasks.
Runner up – Zaahir Ali, Health Level 3, Tararua College
Winner – Amber Le Roux, Chef Programme Level 3 Wairarapa College
Dedication Award – for the ākonga who shows dedication in class engagement, both theory and practical, looks for extra tasks, demonstrates high work output, is able to juggle outside commitments such as jobs, sports, caring for whānau, and outstanding effort in all areas.
Runner Up – Alec Ross, Te Kura Tapere, Conservation Level 3, Palmerston North Boys College
Winner – Ethan Goodin, Automotive Level 2, Wairarapa College
Outstanding Award – for the ākonga who shows strong leadership, exceeds in all qualities such as attendance, work standards, timeliness, punctuality, attitude, self-confidence, commitment and willingness to engage in all activities. They have managed this while also obtaining a high level of academic achievement.
Runner up – Callum Taylor, Te Kura Tapere Conservation Level 3, Awatapu College
Winner – Maia Wilson, Early Childhood Level 3, Wairarapa College
Meanwhile, UCOL will be offering new options for Electrical Engineering, Performing Arts, Gamification, and Police Pathways next year, as well as its present programmes of Construction, Automotive, Chef Training, Café Skills, Salon Skills, Hair Beauty and Retail, Health [Nursing pathway], Barbering, Skincare and Makeup, Early Childhood and Infrastructure Works.