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Celebration for college's Access students as they move on to Higher Education

19 Jul 2017

City College Norwich celebrated the achievements of 200 Access to Higher Education students on Friday 14 July, when students were presented with their end of year certificates at St Andrews House.

Access to HE student stories

Electrician writes his own script with Cambridge University place

Timothy Trayhurn, 21, from Trowse, illustrates perfectly how an Access course can facilitate a change of career direction.  Timothy was working as an electrician doing portable appliance testing, but his long term aspiration is to get into screenwriting.  Mr Trayhurn completed the Access to HE: Humanities & Social Sciences course and has secured a place at Cambridge University to read English.  Timothy said:

“I knew I was capable of a bit more, I guess, so I thought I’d try and have a stab at university.  When I finally got my grades I was pretty elated to have got into Cambridge.  I’ve loved going back to education.  The Access course was good.”       

Caring for a friend led to decision to train to be an Occupational Therapist

For much of her early working life, 30 year-old Laurie Smith, from Fakenham, followed in the footsteps of her parents who ran a family pub.  After 15 years of working in kitchens and pubs, Ms Smith had a rethink about her career direction when her parents sold the family pub.  The experience of doing some care work for a friend with Parkinson’s led her to think about going into Occupational Therapy.  Ms Smith completed the Access to Higher Education: Science for Health Practitioners course and is going on to study Occupational Therapy at UEA.  She said:

“The course has been really good.  I got halfway through module 1 of chemistry and wanted to quit and then I got a merit so I decided otherwise. I did the same thing for module 2, but again I was convinced otherwise by my classmates. Everything after that was relatively straightforward.  I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve met some amazing people on this course and I’ve had some really nice experiences.  City College Norwich is actually a really nice place to be. My advice to anyone thinking about an Access course would be: You never know until you try!”

Injury leads promising rugby player to retrain for career in Physiotherapy

Joseph Cousens, 24, from Hingham, had his sights set on a career in top level rugby, playing for the Leicester Tigers Academy from the age of 16 to 19.  His professional rugby career was cut short by a series of injuries, which led him to swap his boots for rugby coaching and personal fitness training.  Seeing physios doing rehab work in the gym to help people overcome injuries and recovery from surgery convinced Joseph that this was a highly rewarding area of work that he would like to get into.  He has just finished the Access to Higher Education: Science for Health Practitioners course and will be starting a Physiotherapy degree as his next step.  Joseph said:

“An Access course is a great opportunity to learn more things and to speak to people who are interested in going into different professions.  A lot of people on my course are looking at going into nursing, midwifery, etc. It’s good to hear about their backgrounds and experiences and learning from each other.”

From crop science to a new career in adult nursing

Rita Essien, 30, from Norwich, completed a degree in crop science in her home country of Nigeria.  After moving to the UK with her husband 6 years ago, she started working as a care assistant.  She found that she loved this area of work and decided to train to become fully qualified to work in adult nursing.  Having completed the Access to Higher Education: Science for Health Practitioners course, Rita is now set to do a nursing degree at UEA.  Mrs Essien commented:

“I really enjoy caring for people and looking after people, especially adults, I think it is my passion.  At the end of the nursing degree I could work in a hospital or in a care home, there are so many prospects. I have really enjoyed the Access course, I have learnt a lot. Our teachers were amazing. I’ve made a lot of friends.” 

The college’s Access courses attract learners from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages to study for a qualification that provides a recognised route to degree-level study.  Many Access students balance their studies alongside work, family and other commitments.

Well done to the class of 2017! 

City College Norwich’s Deputy Principal, Jerry White presented completion certificates to successful students on CAVA-validated Access to Higher Education courses in Art & Design, Business Management, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Science for Health Practitioners.  

Fifteen of the completing students received special awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements, dedication determination in overcoming barriers, and contributions to their course. 

Our thanks to Jarrold Books for kindly donating and presenting prizes for the award-winning students on the Access to Higher Education: Humanities & Social Sciences course.       

"An exceptional cohort of students"

Jerry White, Deputy Principal, City College Norwich, commented:

“Our Access to Higher Education courses are a hugely important part of City College Norwich’s commitment to our community.  Access courses give learners of all ages the chance to return to learning, to change direction, to have a second chance and grasp the opportunities that are available for progression to Higher Education. 

“Once again we have had an exceptional cohort of students, who have brought a wide diversity of past experiences to their Access courses, whilst sharing the common aim of reaching their chosen Higher Education programmes.  Whether they are moving on to the excellent Higher Education options available in Norfolk, or heading further afield for their degree, we wish our Access class of 2017 the very best and hope that they will keep in touch with City College Norwich.”

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