Stoke-on-Trent College graduates take top marks
STUDENTS from Stoke-on-Trent college are set for great careers as they graduate from Higher Education courses tomorrow.
Around 100 college students will be among more than 4,000 graduates at a ceremony at Trentham Gardens this week.
The students have studied on foundation degree courses hosted by Stoke-on-Trent College in partnership with Staffordshire University in a range of subjects including Early Childhood Studies, Psychology, Information Technology and much more.
Among them are more than 20 students who are employed by BT. All these students have achieved foundation degrees in IT for business, while two students, James Harris and Sally Brierley, have achieved a distinction classification.
David Kidd, from BT learning operations, said: “We don’t take this level of performance for granted, and to have everyone achieve 100 per cent at Merit or higher is among our best results ever, so I would like to congratulate all the students on behalf of BT.”
AWARD: Foundation Degree in Customer Care
Holly Soole is now a BT customer service higher apprentice, whose project to improve customer service at BT’s business repair centre in Plymouth by 20 per cent proved so successful that it is now being considered to roll out across every BT repair centre in the UK.
Holly said: “Since starting my Foundation Degree managers have approached me to help manage their teams in their absence and people come to me for help and advice, and I believe this has come from the success of my project which I am extremely proud of.”
Ruth Scott, course team leader for Child Care, said the college has 25 learners who will gain their Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies.
Ruth said: “We are extremely proud of all our third year learners graduating this year, as they have shown great commitment to their studies often juggling careers and family life with the demands of Higher Education study. The vast majority of our learners have decided to carry on learning and are now looking to careers in teaching, nursing or social work.”
AWARD: Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies - Lisa Carter
Lisa Carter, 34, from Heron Cross, manager of Tiny Toez Nursery based in Sneyd Green, said: “I did the course for myself and for my own professional development and it has helped me to make changes here at the nursery.
“While I was studying we had an unexpected Ofsted inspection and were found outstanding in all 17 areas, some of which were due to changes which came about from what I’d learned on the course.
“The courses offered the best of both worlds as we had access to facilities at both Stoke-on-Trent College and Staffordshire University, and I found all the lecturers really supportive. I’ve now signed up to do a top up course in September to turn my qualification into a full BA Hons.”
Three college students (see below) will graduate in Psychology having completed an Access to Higher Education qualification at Stoke-on-Trent college.
AWARD: BSc Hons Psychology – Reachal (CORR) Dale
Reachal Dale, aged 33, from Burslem, said: “I decided to go back into full-time education when I was aged 29, eight months pregnant with my second son and out of work.
“I knew going back to work full time on a minimum wage was not worth it when child-care was taken into consideration, and I also wanted to be a good role model for my children, to show that you can do anything if you just put your mind to it.
“I chose to study Psychology, Sociology, Criminology and Social Policy, and from the moment I started the Access course, I knew I wanted to go to university. Being back in education, meeting new people and doing well at my assignments was the massive confidence boost I needed.
“Three more years down the line and I'm due to graduate with a BSc Honours in Forensic Psychology Second Class Degree (2:2).
Going back into education was the best decision I've ever made. Now I'm so excited for the future - for me and my family.”
AWARD: BSc Hons Psychology – Sharon Cornelius
Sharon Cornelius, aged 38, from Biddulph, said: “I left school in 1990 with no formal qualifications and no ambitions. I had my daughter Laura the following year and over the next 16 years had numerous jobs ranging from office work to retail. I also had my son Connor in 1997.
“Despite always working part time, I never felt settled anywhere and always believed there was something else I was meant to do. Something that would be challenging and somewhere I could make a difference.
“With the support of my husband John and my children, I started an Access to HE course at Stoke-on-Trent College. The course opened my eyes to choices I never thought were available to me and I made many friends along the way.
“The last three years at university have been tough, but now I have completed my degree I feel like a new person and I’m determined to put my new skills and qualifications to the best use I can.”
AWARD: BSc Psychology – Michelle Studd
Michelle Studd, aged 38, from Abbey Hulton, is a full time mum to two children aged nine and five, and studied GCSE psychology before deciding to undertake an Access to HE course at Stoke-on-Trent College.
She said: “Being a single mum who worked part time throughout my studies it wasn’t easy juggling it all, but I wanted to do better for myself and decided on a further course in psychology because I’d enjoyed the GCSE course in it so much at the college.”