DEGREE STUDY SUCCESS COURSE
Sixteen of our new Level C Education degree students recently completed our “Degree Study Success” course. Over a four week period students attended college every Wednesday evening. During this time they gained a taste of academic study before commencing their chosen evening degree courses.
Subject areas covered within the course included, Essay Writing, Study Skills, Referencing, Plagiarism and Presentation Skills. Students were also required to write a short assignment about themselves. During the course we split the students up into four groups and asked them to work on a topic of their own choice to present to the rest of the group on the final evening. All the students did exceptionally well and we were treated to presentations on, “Toy Story”,” To Kill a Mocking Bird”,” Miley Cyrus” and “The Gruffalo”.
The feedback that we received from the students about the “Degree Study Success” course was extremely positive. We do have some students who come straight from taking A-Levels or National Diploma’s, but many of our adult students have been out of education for some time.
We also had four students who had previously studied at St. Mary’s College completing the “Degree Study Success” course. Kathryn Bracewell, Caitlin Dunne and Alana Bibby all attended SMC as sixth form students. Shanaz Naseem has progressed from our Essential Skills department, where she completed her Level 1 and 2 in Adult Literacy.
Mick chose this course as a step up to the next level to hopefully become a health care professional in therapy. He chose to study at St. Mary’s as it is very close to home.
Mick says; “I have heard good reports about the College. The staff were very helpful at enrolment stage. The College is part of UCLan and this was another reason for me choosing to study at a partner college. I also wanted to take the next step to become professional, as I felt I had gone as far as I could in my career.”
The course has been a great help to Mick in his career choices. “Originally I was thinking about physiotherapy but have now started to think about other options such as Psychotherapy. I feel I have a had a good taste for what is to come next by doing this course and it has given me a good over view.”
The highlights of the course include the support given in preparing for the next step. “I’ve never really been a great academic to be honest and so how the course prepares you for the next step is great. I have received great support on my course. Initially I was fearful about returning to study as a mature student, but have found that anything is achievable if you put the hours in.”
Mick is now going on to complete a BSC top up this September with UCLan.
Liverpool Network of Hope Graduate Returns to SMC to Teach
Joanne Lewis graduated from LHU in July 2010 with a first class BA Hons in Education and Disability Studies. Joanne was also awarded the prestigious Derwent Prize, bestowed upon her by the academic staff at Liverpool Hope in recognition of the quality research that Joanne undertook during her studies.
Since finishing her degree with St. Mary’s, Joanne has been appointed as an Associate Lecturer for the Education Faculty at Liverpool Hope University and in the School of Social Work at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan.) She was also asked to contribute a chapter on ‘Key concepts in Social Work’ for a book edited by UCLan’s Professor Aiden Worsley. In addition to these positions, Joanne has been awarded funding to take up a full-time PhD Scholarship at Hull University. Her research will focus on the ‘Self- Management of Depressive Symptoms’’, which is something she touched on during her undergraduate studies.
Summing up her time at St. Mary’s College Joanne said “Studying in the Network was a truly enlightening and rewarding experience that enabled me to finally decide what I want to do with my life and provided me with tools to be able to achieve this. The caring environment and great supportive network makes St. Mary’s an ideal place to study.”
In September 2011 Joanne has taught on the BA Education programme here at SMC. Student feedback from the first year Education groups has been exceptional and all the students praise Joanne’s ability to encourage and support them during their studies. Joanne’s empirical knowledge of studying in the network has undoubtedly helped her empathise with her learners.
We are delighted that Joanne will be joining us again in 12/13 to teach the Education modules on the BA Education & SEN and BA Education & Early Childhood programmes.
Mark Lomas gained a First Class BA Combined (Hons) degree in Theology and Education Studies. Mark chose to Study at St. Mary’s in the evenings as it was local and fitted in with his work commitments. He has now taken up a GRTP Trainee Teacher post at St. Christopher’s C. E. High School in Accrington teaching Religious Studies.
Sarah Jayne Aspinall graduated in the summer of 2010 after completing a Foundation Degree in Health and Social (Rehabilitation Pathway) at St. Mary’s, in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UClan).
She found the course both interesting and enjoyable and was grateful for all the support she received during her time at the College. Sarah is now studying towards a degree in Mental Health Nursing.
Jasvinder proves you can work and study at the same time
In 2006 at the age of 49 Jasvinder Kang decided to take a BA Combined (Honours) degree in Advanced Study of Early Years and Special Needs in the evenings at St Mary's College in Blackburn. Three years on Jasvinder and her family attended her graduation at Liverpool Hope University after she successfully completed her degree gaining a 2:2 classification.
Jasvinder, who has worked as an Early Years Practioner at St Mary's College Nursery for the past six years, decided to embark on a degree course after completing her NVQ Level 3 in Early Years Care and Education. She said: "I decided the time was right as I have always wanted to do a degree. I didn't go to University after leaving school, but after seeing two of my sons graduate, I wanted to prove that I could also become a graduate."
Jasvinder applied for a degree course at St Mary's College because of the evening classes: "I had to find something which fitted around my family and I did not want to give up my job, so studying in the evening at college suited me."
Initially Jasvinder had some reservations about taking the course as she had not been in full-time education since leaving school in 1974 - and English was her second language. She found the degree challenging, but rewarding, but all her hard work has paid off: "I had plenty of support from a number of people throughout the three years. I couldn't have done this without my family; who backed me all way and were very understanding when I had to lock myself away to do my college work. I also had advice and guidance from my manager at work, which really helped to take the pressure of me.
"Whenever I had any problems with the course, the Degree team at St Mary's were always on hand to offer me help with assignments, applying for student finance or just with some encouragement. To me, gaining the degree is a personal achievement and I hope I have proved that you can take a degree course while you are working and also when you have been out of education for a number of years."
An Occupational Therapy Career - the Rewards for Outstanding Achievement at St Mary's College
Dominique Wrigley, of Blackburn has been given a special award at the Tim Curtis Awards Ceremony,
by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), for outstanding achievement on her Foundation Degree Health and Social Care (Rehabilitation) course. The awards are given in memory of the late Tim Curtis, a former Deputy Director of the university, to celebrate the achievements of students in the UCLan Partner College network.
Dominique was nominated by her tutors for the dedication she showed to her studies at St. Mary's College. She studied for her foundation degree whilst also working as a part-time care assistant and bringing up her family.
Chris Cox, Director of Higher Education and Community Provision at the college, said: "Dominique worked tremendously hard towards her studies and showed great determination. She overcame barriers to learning in order to succeed on her programme of study and this recognition is very well deserved."
Dominique has now progressed to Lancaster University where she is studying Occupational Therapy.
Dominique said: "I'm delighted to have been put forward for this award and I feel it is recognition for all the effort I have put into my studies. The course has been invaluable in helping me towards my goal of becoming an Occupational Therapist. The teaching team at St. Mary's have been brilliant and the support I have received from the degree office was invaluable. I would encourage anyone who has been out of education for a while to ‘bite the bullet' and enrol, it's one of the most rewarding experience you can have."
The Tim Curtis Awards take the form of a £200 prize cheque to students studying on courses which are part of the University's FE-HE partnership network, who during the current academic year have made outstanding progress.If you want to follow in these students' footsteps and are interested in any of the degree courses at St Mary's College, contact the Degree Office on 01254 580464 or email email@example.com for more information or text SMCHE to 88020.
(From left to right, Kathryn Bracewell, Caitlin Dunne, Shanaz Naseem and Alana Bibby)