Leaping Ahead to University

Accelerated learning at Elwood College is tailored to the individual. For Josh Caratelli, this means taking a university subject in VCE.

The Year 12 student insists he is not an “ace student” just a very hard-working one with a passion for computer programming.

“I do work hard. I work towards goals and I make myself visible while doing so. Like with my computer skills, I always make sure to offer to help fix computer problems for other students and sometimes I help out in the IT room at lunchtime,” Josh explains.

He is one of two Elwood College students taking a university subject as part of their VCE in 2014. Josh is studying Computer Science at RMIT while Enna Rossy is studying Japanese at the University of Melbourne.

Opportunities like these are part of Elwood’s philosophy of knowing our students as individuals and ensuring every student has the opportunity to strive for their personal best.

“Because it’s a small school, you can talk to anyone and they get to know you. It’s a very friendly, social environment,” Josh says.

Leaping ahead to university was first flagged with Josh during Year 10 career counselling with Pathways Coordinator Gill Bentley. By that stage, Josh’s talent for computers was clear. In Year 9, he created his own portfolio of work and asked his dad to take him to an industry networking night…at the pub! Agostino chaperoned him to due to the venue's age restrictions and the contacts he made led to contract work developing a game for the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3.

 In his entrepreneurial style, Josh jumped at the university idea. “I thought ‘this is too good to be true’ and I went for it.”

He travels to the RMIT city campus every Wednesday to attend classes, with his marks contributing to his VCE ATAR score and giving him a head start on a university degree.

Combining university with the VCE has been challenging at times, requiring a lot of self-motivation. At the end of Term 2 he had a three-hour night exam at RMIT, with a Maths Methods SAC due the next morning.

“It’s all about time management and working hard when it counts,” Josh explains. “University is a completely different experience to high school. It’s been a big wake-up call in terms of attitude and responsibility.

 “But I have a life as well,” he says, having spent most of the Term 2 break on a go-carting and paintballing trip with friends. Thank goodness it’s not all hard work for this computer superstar.