Enjoying the learning makes it easy

Donna DeCleene
  • Ngāti Kuia

Donna DeCleene (Ngati Kuia) always wanted to do good things with her life.

However it wasn’t until she completed an online survey to do with her interests and passions that she realised she had the skills and qualities to help others.

Two of the survey results which closely matched Donna’s interests were social work and the police. Donna knew that she didn’t want to become a police officer so she decided to find out more about social work on the internet. The search helped to confirm her goal of becoming a social worker.

Donna has since decided that she would like to better the lives of youth who are struggling and need more help.

Study support

In order to achieve her goal, Donna chose the Bachelor of Social Work by distance with Open Polytechnic because she enjoyed her past experience with them.

Not only does Donna find the course materials clear and understandable, she also enjoys using Open Polytechnic’s Online Campus every day to see what is required for each paper and keeping up to date with news.

She also likes that she can continue to work part-time, volunteer part-time as a budget adviser and spend quality time with her friends and family.

Initially finding distance study difficult because she works well in a face-to-face environment, Donna is thankful to her lecturers for their continuous support.

Her employer is supportive of her studies and her family keep telling her that they’re proud of her achievements so far.

Growing through study

Enjoying the diversity of the courses, Donna says that her study is not all hard work, and that it is very rewarding and self-fulfilling.

“I love all of my papers and the subject matter is something I am very interested in and passionate about,” says Donna.

Donna says that so far the degree has made her more culturally aware:

“Even though I am part  Māori , I had no knowledge or comprehension of this side of my family. I now also understand the true meaning of culture as previously I just thought it was about your place of birth and ethnicity,” says Donna.

Donna encourages other students to study with Open Polytechnic and says that the lecturers are awesome and available to clarify anything.

“My ambition for study is to achieve high marks and to continue bettering myself.”

Donna hopes to achieve the degree in 4 years of part-time study, because since starting it, she feels like she can achieve anything.

I love all of my papers and the subject matter is something I am very interested in and passionate about.