STAR – do tertiary study at school

Find out how to study tertiary courses through the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) programme at your school.

What is STAR?

The STAR programme is designed to help Year 11-13 students move smoothly from school into tertiary study or work. Schools are given a certain amount of funding for STAR, so the programme and what courses are offered can vary.

Schools may provide courses at the school itself, or through external providers.

STAR can be a good option if you're thinking of leaving school early, because you may be able to pick up skills that will help you into a job or further study later on.

What are the benefits?

You can:

  • try out tertiary education while still at school
  • earn NCEA credits or credits towards a tertiary qualification
  • get practical, hands-on, work-based experience
  • try out a possible career, so that you can decide if it's something you want to do in the future.

Where do I start?

Because the programme is different at each school, you need to find out what STAR courses your school has available. Have a look at your school curriculum guide and see what hands-on courses are being offered.

If you find a course that interests you, talk to the school careers adviser or STAR co-ordinator.

If you're accepted into a course, make the most of it - working well and getting your assessments done can help you in the future. An employer may want to see your workbook and assessment results, and may use this to help them decide if you can do the job.

What should I do when I finish my STAR course?

Once you've completed a STAR course, you an add the skills and experienced you've gained to your CV. Make sure you update your CV while the tasks are fresh in your mind.

What did you learn?

Besides updating your CV, you should also think about what you've learned from the course, as it can help you with future career decisions.

  • What did you learn from your experience?
  • What did you particularly enjoy?  - this could be specific tasks, or the work environment etc.
  • Is this an area that might interest you in the future?

Work experience and other options

If you enjoyed your experience with STAR, you may want to put the skills you've learned into practice by getting some work experience.

Many schools offer the Gateway programme, where you are placed with an employer one day a week. Doing some work experience will help you get an idea of what a job is like, and whether it might suit you.

Updated 11 Jan 2018