Proving it’s never too late to change career or head to university, students who undertook Access courses across Cornwall are celebrating another great year with 100% progression.
Access courses are perfect for those who want to get to university but may not have the qualifications needed for direct entry.
“Our Access students have progressed onto all sorts of courses, from nursing and psychology, to veterinary science and primary teaching,” explained Dr Mark Nason, who heads the Access programme at The Cornwall College Group.
“They have come from all backgrounds and levels of academic achievement, people who failed their A Levels 30 years ago and high achievers looking to change careers. That is the beauty of Access courses, if the student is determined to work hard, they can achieve their dreams and it’s such a privilege to be able to help people do this every year.”
Students who have used Access courses to achieve their careers include Angel Kemp, who is currently climbing Kilimanjaro to raise money for meningitis.
She completed an Access to Nursing course with Distinctions and now attends Plymouth University.
Leigh Stanley entered in the Army straight from school, but had a change of heart in terms of education.
“Before enrolling on the Access to nursing course at Saltash College I had served 13 years in the British Army,” he explained.
“I had served on many operations including Iraq and Afghanistan and had a very fulfilling career. However, having seen the psychological and emotional pressures that life can have on service personnel, I decided to pursue a career as a mental health nurse with the hope that in the future I can help service veterans suffering with mental health problems.”
Leigh is working as a staff nurse (RMN) in a challenging behaviour unit dealing predominantly with dementia. He gained my BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing qualification through Plymouth University and came out with a 2:1.
Access route into business
Graham Godley-McEvoy came from the motor industry before studying on the Access to HE Business diploma at Saltash. He has just achieved a First for his dissertation at Plymouth, scoring an exceptional 82%.
Currently studying a BSc (Hons) degree in Dental therapy and hygiene at the Peninsula school of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, Kirsty Holmes said getting on the course was “a great privilege as it is ranked as the top 2% worldwide”.
“Upon completion, I will be a dental hygiene therapist, where I will work closely with other dentists, carrying out preventative and basic restorative dentistry under their prescription,” Kirsty explained.
“Before enrolling on the Access course at Cornwall College Saltash, I was a registered dental nurse for several years alongside being a very busy Mum to two children. I had worked in health care for over 10 years and didn’t quite find my niche in the health care sector until I trained as a dental nurse. It was then that I realised that dentistry was where I wanted to be.”
Kirsty added she never particularly excelled in school and failed her maths GCSE.
“I applied to the Access in Allied Health Professionals with the gift of hindsight and used this to further my education and build a career for myself through determination and wanting to be a role model for my children,” she said.
“I knew I was capable of achieving more than what I already had and that if you want something bad enough, you need to work hard to achieve it. My children have seen the hard work I have put in and they tell me constantly that they are proud of me for what I’m doing.”
A friend of Kirsty’s recommended Access courses after they became a qualified paramedic via an Access course.
“He was extremely complementary about the course and highly recommended I enrol if I wanted to get in to university,” Kirsty continued.
“I did a bit of research about the College and found they had 100% progression rates as well as an exemplary reputation. I found this out for myself when I enrolled and found the academic support was exceptional. My course tutor gave me confidence in myself to achieve what I felt was unachievable.”
Raoul Humphreys Principal and CE of TCCG, said the College was “immensely proud of all our students who have achieved so much through their Access courses”.
“Not only does it prove the great value of Access courses, it highlights we can all have a second chance at achieving our goals within our communities in the South West of England,” he said.
“Whether it’s in Camborne, Saltash, St Austell or Bicton, there is a course waiting for people who want to challenge themselves and forge a new and rewarding career, which ties in with our determination to maintain our status as the career college for the region.”
To find out more about Access courses please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk/access-hub or call 0330 123 2523.