From education to employment

Vocational Qualification Leads to Access to HE

Naomi Whitney

The negative secondary education experience that Naomi Whitney had resulted in her leaving school with little in the way of qualifications. Naomi entered full-time employment and, some years later, completed an NVQ as part of her continual professional development. Completing this work-based vocational qualification gave Naomi the confidence to pursue her dream of going to university to study Social Work.

After exploring her options, Naomi found that her NVQ did not meet the entry requirement for the degree course, however, a one-year Access course would provide her with the progression route to achieve her dream. In considering her options, Naomi initially planned to study part-time so that she could continue to work alongside her studies, but this wasn’t an option locally. Cambridge Regional College was the only college to offer a part-time Access course within the surrounding area, so Naomi attended an open day to explore this option further.

Naomi said, “I attended an open day and was very impressed with the organisation and what was on offer. I also discovered that if I applied for a full-time place instead of a part time place, I would be able to do a criminology module as part of the course. The commute was the only barrier but, after looking around at alternative colleges, CRC came out on top. The course content and campus facilities were the best by far.”

Despite the daily commute, Naomi enrolled on the Access to Higher Education in Social Work Professions at CRC and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Naomi added, “I found the course to be very well prepared, engaging and fascinating from start to finish. The tutors were very supportive and full of knowledge. Half-way through the course the college campus had to close due to the pandemic, but the college very promptly set up an online learning system so we could continue learning. The tutors kept us informed as to how the course was going to continue and they were extremely supportive in what became a very anxious time.”

Naomi completed her Access course in summer 2020 and progressed to Anglia Ruskin University on a Social Work degree. She has just completed her first trimester and couldn’t be more pleased with the journey she has taken to get her career on track.

Naomi concluded, “It is already apparent that the skills learned at CRC are going to be invaluable in my degree studies. The course has provided a solid foundation in areas such as academic writing, critical analysis and Harvard referencing, all of which are essential in higher level education.

I would strongly recommend the Access to HE course at CRC. The support provided by the tutors and skills gained have helped me immensely. In fact, I even encouraged a friend to join the 2020 cohort and she is enjoying the course as much as I did.”

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