Gym instructor and mother of four Belinda Thompson from Wyoming on the Central Coast always knew she wanted to take her career further but had been busy raising four children and had not found the time for further study.
Sending her youngest child to high school this year, Ms Thompson began researching possible study options and came across the University of Newcastle's Open Foundation program.
Open Foundation is a one-year part-time or six-month intensive program for people aged 20 and over. It provides a qualification that can be used to gain entry to university study and can also be completed through distance education.
"I teach yoga and pilates at a physiotherapy centre and am interested in exercise as rehabilitation," she said.
"I wanted to take my qualifications further and planned to complete a degree when the children were older so that I can work with a wider range of people.
"Open Foundation eased me into study again and gave me the confidence that I can complete a degree. I was shocked to receive 95 per cent or more in all of my subjects."
Ms Thompson has applied to study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Newcastle's Central Coast campus from 2010.
Deputy Director of the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, Dr Keryl Kavanagh, said Open Foundation was the ideal program for people who needed a university entry qualification.
"Many people are like Ms Thompson and for several reasons, have not pursued a tertiary education after finishing high school. But when things change in their lives Open Foundation is a second chance."
Applications for the one-year part-time Open Foundation program close Friday 22 January 2010 with classes commencing from Monday 1 March.
Open Foundation representatives will be at shopping centres across the Newcastle, Central Coast and Port Macquarie areas in January. Information sessions will also be held at the University's Callaghan and Central Coast campuses. For details visit www.openfoundation.com.au