Tocal College, CB Alexander Campus is situated in the picturesque Hunter Valley about 180 km north of Sydney.
It provides a unique blend of agricultural training and practical experience for school leavers and other people who may be interested in rewarding careers in agriculture.
Year 10, 11 or 12 school leavers gain a practical pathway to careers in agriculture or gain credit in a variety of university degrees. Tocal College also provides a diverse range of education products and services to farmers, landholders and rural industries. A key component of this is the delivery of PROfarm short courses.
Staff at the CB Alexander campus develop and publish high quality education resources including the revised Agskills series of books.
As well as extensive training facilities, Tocal provides a supportive environment for students. Student facilities include indoor sports and social venues, single bedroom or motel style units, swimming pool, football oval, tennis courts, student shop and a well equipped library. Students are also involved in local sporting competitions and numerous community activities.
Tocal students come from ...
Tocal students come from throughout New South Wales, especially the Greater Sydney Region, Illawarra, the Hunter Region, North Coast, South Coast, Central Coast and Central West NSW. Some students also come from interstate.
Tocal commercial farms
Tocal is the only NSW Department of Primary Industries college with large commercial farms that offer students the practical edge to career entry. Students gain broad experience on the Tocal farms that run:
- Up to 1078 beef cattle
- Over 110 Australian stock horses
- 438 dairy cattle and meat
- 382 sheep for wool production
- a free range egg operation with up to 90,000 hens ranging at any one time
- (See the farms page for more details.)
A network of cooperating farmers throughout NSW and Queensland support full-time students in gaining practical farm experience.
Tocal full-time students may qualify for financial help, in the form of Youth Allowance or from a large range of scholarships. Financial support is also available for trainees and their employers - contact the College for more information.
Recognition of prior learning
Students can gain credit for skills or knowledge gained at school, on farms, TAFE or elsewhere. This 'Recognition of Prior Learning' means they do not have to do units they already know and can use the time to gain further skills and experience. Prior experience or learning may allow students to complete Tocal courses within a shorter time period.
Arrangements are in place for Tocal graduates to receive credit at most NSW universities that offer agriculture or related courses. Universities include New England, Western Sydney (Hawkesbury), Newcastle, Southern Cross and Charles Sturt. Tocal graduates with a Diploma of Agriculture can gain substantial credit towards a degree (see 'Pathways to university' for more details). These credits shorten the time students take to do a degree.
Tocal graduates get jobs! They are in demand by employers because they receive a firm grounding in practical agricultural and interpersonal skills. Students enter careers in the great outdoors in management, business or the environment. A Tocal course prepares graduates for rapid progress to promotions and new career options.
A rural learning experience
The aim of Tocal is to train students for farming or related industries by focusing on industry-relevant issues. In addition, Tocal fosters student personal development by enhancing communication skills, teamwork and appropriate attitudes. Whether students decide to complete a full-time, part-time or self-study program, a Tocal course is a great learning experience.
As a result of its forward-looking approach to learning, Tocal attracts vast student and community support for its courses and annual events.
People - the stats
(These statistics are based on year ending 2016.)
|Permanent full-time staff||50|
|Apprentices / trainees||0|
|Friends of Tocal||120|
|Full-time enrolments CBA campus||100-120 per year|
|External course graduates||205|
|PROfarm short course participants||1,880 (in 281 courses)|
|Annual student contact hours, provisonal||429,979|
|Meals served CBA campus||46,456|
|Casual nights in accommodation, CBA campus||25,371|
|Casual nights in accommodation, MRSC||1,418|
|Visitors to the Homestead||12,466|
|Visitors attending function in Tocal Visitor Centre||5,332|
|Visitors to Tocal Field Days (over three days)||20,007|