Promotion of HN Qualifications: College Case Studies JOHN ALLAN SENIOR CONSULTANT firstname.lastname@example.org 0845 213 5545
Mireilla Ada Stow College HNC/HND Networking & Internetworking Technology Widening access to new learning opportunities for those from disadvantaged and under-represented groups lies at the heart of Stow’s commitment to social justice and the promotion of inclusion. Mireilla arrived in Scotland from Guinea in 2002 as an asylum seeker and brought with her two of her three children. “Back in Africa I had tried to make a living by preparing food and selling it,” says Mireilla, “But I also studied a great deal. After I arrived in Glasgow a friend, who was a student at Stow, told me what a good College it is so I decided I would like to study there too.” Mireilla joined the Access to Computing course and really enjoyed it “I had a very good experience on that course,” she recalls. “Whatever problem might be on your mind, you only had to explain it to any of the staff and they would give you all the help and advice you needed.” She then successfully completed the A+ Computer Installation & Maintenance course and is now on the HNC/D Networking & Internetworking Technology programme. “After that I would ideally like to obtain a work permit and find a post here in Scotland, says Mireilla. “If it takes time to get a work permit I am quite ready to do voluntary work in the meantime.”
Mireilla Ada Stow College HNC/HND Networking & Internetworking Technology
Alan McLauchlan Cardonald College HND Electronics Alan McLauchlan came to Cardonald in 2003 to study for a Scottish Group Award in Electronic Engineering at Intermediate 2, having left school in 1997 with Standard grades passes and becoming employed as a stock taking assistant with a large company as part of a YTS scheme. Alan says.” After a year I was taken on full time and was involved with maintaining computer records and ensuring these reflected true stock levels on a UK wide basis. After four years I found the job presented no real challenge and had only limited prospects. I had always had an interest in engineering and decided to take the plunge and become a full time student on the SGA Electronic Engineering at Cardonald College. It was tough to begin with but I liked the mixture of practical and theory on the course. I obtained an ‘A’ pass at Intermediate 2 level and have not looked back. I passed the HNC and HND in subsequent years and particularly enjoyed the opportunity to design circuits for applications. Although I don’t find some of the required oral presentations easy at University, I fully expect to obtain a BEng degree this year at Glasgow Caledonian. I have the option to continue studying for the BEng (Hons) or to seek employment and I am now in the process of applying for a1 year placement with major engineering firms, some of whom may offer sponsorship for Honours year study to the right trainee. I am now 24 years old and in no way do I regret returning to education as feel I have a bright future in the Electronics Engineering Industry.”
Alan McLauchlan Cardonald College HND Electronics (Alan is on the left)
Ashley Cuthbert Borders College HNC in Social Care Ashley commenced her studies in August 2003 when she gained a place on the Intermediate 2 Care course after completing her standard grades at Hawick High School. She started College in a large class of school leavers and adult returners but quickly showed a level of maturity and insight into a persons individual care needs despite her young years. Ashley excelled in her workplace performance and coupled with the successful completion of her academic studies progressed through Higher Social Care onto the HNC Social Care. Ashley has experienced a number of student work placements working with children and young people of different age ranges. Throughout she has demonstrated skills of patience and consideration, confidence and assertiveness with the ability to perform in a professional manner at all times. Ashley has been a student at Borders College for 3 years and has taken advantage of the very reason why Further Education Colleges in Scotland are widely established as providers of vocational training for young people. Ashley has now successfully gained employment as an Alcohol Support Worker with the Borders Community Alcohol Support Team.
Neil Rowan James Watt College HNC Electrical Engineering A career in the army beckoned Neil Rowan when he left school. But rather than go straight into the armed services, the determined school leaver decided to broaden his horizons and gain some academic qualifications first. Neil studied HNC Electronic Engineering at the college, providing a much needed overview of electronics-based technology, which has helped no-end in his new-found career. He says, “I had always wanted to join the armed forces, but decided to go to college first rather than going into the army straight from school. I applied for the HNC Electronic Engineering course at the college, as I thought this would be a good subject to have behind me for applying for the army. I really enjoyed the course – it had a good balance of theory and practical, hands-on experience. We did a lot of project-based work, which I particularly enjoyed. And it did help that I had great lecturers who were all very motivating. When I applied for the army, I already had a good knowledge of Electrical Engineering behind me. It seemed silly to waste this experience, so I carried on with my training and am now a Royal Signals System Engineer Technician. I had a further year and a half training to complete; so in addition to military tuition, I carried on with my engineering studies through the week. Although I am based in Germany, I have just come back from a post in Iraq, where I was based at the main headquarters 20 miles south of Basra. I would definitely say that my HNC helped me to get into the army and certainly gave me a good vocation to build on when I got accepted.”
Cassandra Smith Perth College HNC Applied Science Perth College and St Andrews Pathway to Medicine Scheme - pumping fresh blood into the NHS in Scotland. Waitresses usually dream of becoming actresses, but Cassandra Smith always wanted to be a Doctor. Ten years after leaving school, the 28-year-old mother of two and former hotel waitress is back at college to realise her dream. Cassandra’s fellow students are also in their twenties and come from England, Fife and Ayrshire. One was a secretary and another was an events organiser. “I think it is a fantastic opportunity” says Robert Boyd, programme leader for science and environment at Perth College. “This should tap into a pool of talent”. Andrew Riches, deputy head of Bute Medical School at St Andrews and professor of experimental medicine, believes the mature students will bring a range of skills and experience from good communication to a gentle bedside manner – something that may be lacking in trainees coming straight from school. He says the students now learn these skills from the first year of their degree. “The important thing is to try to get people from different backgrounds and perspectives on life” says Professor Riches. “Certainly, people entering the course have to be well motivated because they have to be prepared to cope with the rigours of medicine, and if they are not up to a certain level they will simply not be able to cope with this course”.
Donna Stenton Jewel & Esk Valley College HNC Health Care A trainee nurse from Rosyth had an extra celebration this past weekend when she crossed the stage at Jewel & Esk Valley College’s graduation ceremony. Donna Stenton received the NHS Lothian Award as well as graduating with an HNC in Healthcare. This new award was introduced this year in partnership with NHS Lothian to recognise the hard work and commitment of students taking Healthcare-related subjects. Working as an auxiliary nurse at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, 30 year old Donna decided to up her nursing skills by enrolling on the Healthcare course at Jewel & Esk. While studying, Donna worked in the Neuroscience ward at the Western General three days a week on a work placement. Donna, who lives with husband Paul, 43, and her ten year old stepson, Aiden, enters the second year of the Nursing degree at Napier University in February 2007. Donna said: “I’ve worked as an auxiliary nurse for a while now and for the past few years, I’ve thought about going to do more training. The Healthcare course at Jewel & Esk has helped me on my way to university and I hope to go on to become a fully- qualified nurse and continue working at the Western General. It’s such a great honour to win this award.” Maggie Byers, Senior Nurse for Clinical Support Worker Development at NHS Lothian, presented Donna with her award at the graduation ceremony at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Maggie said: “We are delighted to present this award to Donna, who is a very valued employee of NHS Lothian. We are very pleased with the success of the HNC in promoting lifelong learning and supporting career pathways from Clinical Support Worker and Care Assistant to Registered Nurse. “It can be hard to juggle working, studying and a home life and Donna, along with the other HNC students, is a great example of how achievable it is with hard work and determination. Donna had great support from her clinical area and Jewel & Esk Valley College, enabling her to study to the best of her ability and achieve 'top marks'. We look forward to Donna returning to NHS Lothian and securing a Registered Nurse post in two years time.”
Donna Stenton Jewel & Esk Valley College HNC Health Care