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"I’ve still had life experiences whilst gaining my degree, I haven’t missed out on the traveling or anything because I chose not to follow that traditional university experience”
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Course Studied: BA (Hons) Education and Training
Career: Primary School Teacher
Working at a special educational needs (SEN) intervention centre while traveling in Australia inspired Jess to come home and gain a qualification in education, specifically with children and young people. Initially looking at an evening course, Jess the came across the Foundation degree at the Univeristy Centre Truro & Penwith.
Jess said: “I knew I wanted to be in the Truro and Falmouth area, which is when I stumbled across the prospectus online. I knew I had my A-levels so I was much more prepared for the next step. I didn’t apply to university when I was doing my A-levels because the thought of going away to a large university was really daunting. I didn’t want the pressure of having to get high grades to get a place”.
“I always want to make sure before signing myself up to something. So I finished college at 18 and I did two maybe three years of working before enrolling on the Foundation Degree. Once I knew I’d passed, I then applied to do the Top-up”.
“Everyone was really supportive, you could even go and visit staff in their offices and they’d be really helpful. The library help was really helpful too – before the FdA and the BA they held proper referencing sessions”.
“I liked that you could maintain your normal life, money, family and everything else whilst still getting a degree”.
“I haven’t moved away from home, but I’ve still got life experience even though I didn’t live in halls”.
“You are really in control of your path. You can do the FdA and then if you want to can go on to a top-up. Everything is in much smaller bitesize pieces. Life is what you make it, it’s not like you are signing up for a three year course in Bath and if you don’t like it, that’s it. I literally tailored my education to how I wanted it”.
Jess’s biggest highlight of her academic journey was when she gained her teacher status. On gaining her qualification, she said “I almost cried. It was that big a moment. The whole way through, when you’ve got your heart set on something that has so many tick lists, when you get there, it’s an amazing feeling”.