lyne with dog team lyne with dog team CREDIT: Otago Polytechnic (Cromwell)
Lyne McFarlane with Nikko Lyne McFarlane with Nikko CREDIT: Otago Polytechnic (Cromwell)

Huskies and computers pair up for business qualification

Wednesday 19 May 2010, 3:48PM
By Otago Polytechnic (Cromwell)

Business administration and computing students enrolling for a new, level 3 course to be offered at the Central Otago Campus of the Otago Polytechnic may find themselves sharing the lecture room with sled dogs.

Lecturer and course presenter Lyne McFarlane has three gorgeous Siberian Huskies which she runs at the Snowfarm during winter - and two Alaskan Huskies are set to join the team this season. The dogs sometimes visit the campus on the way to the Snow Farm as part of Cromwell’s unique lifestyle and approach to learning.

“It’s what I love about working at the Central Otago Campus,” says Ms McFarlane. “Lecturers and students get to share a little bit of each other’s lives in a relaxed and informal learning environment. The students love meeting the dogs and our students leave with great qualifications.”

The National Certificate in Business Administration and Computing (level 3) covers a wide range of administrative, communication, computing, accounting, word and text processing, payroll and reception skills.

While considered a full time course for one semester, study times for the Certificate are entirely flexible with students only required in the classroom for two days a week. The study balance can be completed in the student’s own time either at home or at the Cromwell Community Learning Centre. The course starts on July 19 and is designed for people who would like to go into a business administration career, fill in any knowledge gaps, start their own business or reenter the work force. Ms McFarlane says it’s a great way for people already working in the sector to pick up the piece of paper they may need.

“We also recognize prior experience, so for people who already have an understanding of business administration, this allows them to formalize that learning and turn it into a qualification. Study times are flexible with much of the learning self paced. People can certainly fit it around other commitments – it works particularly well for mothers who need to pick up children after school, for example.”

Entry to the programme is open with no prerequisites. The course fee is $1000 for New Zealand residents. Those who complete the course will be able to move on to a Level 4 qualification.

Meanwhile, Ms McFarlane is looking forward to getting her dogs on the snow and introducing students to the joys of these amazing animals as well as the beauty of a perfected formula in an Excel Spreadsheet. And those who want to know a little more about Ms McFarlane’s love affair with ice should ask about her recent trip to race sled dogs in Alaska and a research trip two years to the Arctic Circle.

For further information 

About Lyne McFarlane:

Originally from Kapiti Coast, Lyne McFarlane has lived in Central Otago for six years. Lyne holds an MSc in Conservation and Ecology and has worked for 25 years in the science, conservation, wildlife biology & ecology sectors in New Zealand and Alaska. In her spare time Lyne races a small team of sled dogs competing in NZ dry-land and snow races. She also works Labradors in gun dog trials and game bird hunting and enjoys cross country skiing, mountain biking, sea kayaking.

About Central Otago Campus

Otago Polytechnic's Central Otago campuses offer a range of qualifications in locally-relevant subjects such as horticulture, viticulture, business, hospitality, adventure and tourism.

Our philosophy is to provide hands-on experience and real life knowledge from highly qualified and experienced industry professionals in the way that best suits the student’s lifestyle.

Our programmes support and reflect the local industry infrastructure. Specialist courses include:

• Sports turf management where students work on some of New Zealand’s most famous golf courses

• New Zealand’s only full-time Stonemasonry course where local schist and old stone buildings provide perfect subject matter

• Unique mountain-based snow sports and adventure courses taught from Wanaka and Queenstown ski areas

• Cooking courses that take advantage of Queenstown’s award-winning chefs and restaurants

• Viticulture courses within spitting distance of some of the world’s greatest Pinot Noir.

Our campus is region wide with 3 main venues in Cromwell, Queenstown and Wanaka.

These include Community Learning Centres (CLCs) where you can study Computing and Business Management with options for Q4U and zero fees.

CLC courses allow you to study at your own pace using the centre’s computing suite or via an online study option.

Our learning options are designed to fit with your home, work and lifestyle choices. Ask about our recognition of prior learning (RPL), 'earn and learn' and flexible study arrangements including supported online study.