FOR five years Liam Dagan was home-schooled, which he admits could have made it difficult for him to fit into the regular school system.
But thanks to the newly formed Federation College, his dreams of studying mechanical engineering are still alive.
Liam, 16, was one of about 100 people who attended the opening of the $10 million Federation College building on Grant Street yesterday.
Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall visited Ballarat to open the building, which will provide new alternative pathways into high education or employment for students who have not completed their VCE.
Liam, who moved to Ballarat last year after living in Western Australian, Queensland and South Australia, is one of about 250 students enrolled at the college.
He has never attended a traditional high school, so Federation College proved to be the perfect option for him.
As part of the college’s Aspire program, Liam hopes to gain a university degree in mechanical engineering.
The newly completed building has seven classrooms, two computer classroom and tutorial spaces, a specialised project room and 35 workstations.
Federation College director Shirley Fraser said the college helped provide different paths for students who might be having difficulties in traditional schooling.
“It’s about creating a different journey for them,” she said.
“It’s not like we’re taking from other schools, it’s just about providing different opportunities.”
Mr Hall said the college provided a crucial stepping stone for many students seeking alternative education pathways.
“The college opens new pathways for students from year 10 who have not completed VCE to undertake a range of vocational training programs and keep them engaged in the learning journey,” Mr Hall said.