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Andy is studying Foundation Degree in Computing at our Mid Devon campus.
Name: Andy HowardCourse: FdSc ComputingYear: 2Campus: Mid DevonPreviously: Access to HE Diploma in SciencePrevious School: Chulmleigh Community College
"I came here in 2008 and did Uniformed Public Services – then lots of job cuts happened. I worked for about 5 years and then that’s when I decided I want to go and study computing as that’s the kind of thing I like to do. I decided to go on the Access course at Petroc. It helped a lot, especially as I got my A-level Maths.
"The degree class is small so it’s easier to learn. I’m hoping to go to Plymouth for the third year – I’ve got a house with all the guys on the course. I was thinking of going into teaching or web development after. One of the modules is a PGCE, so that would be ideal. I’ll take it as it comes – see what third year’s like!
"If you’re thinking of doing the degree, come and talk to the people on the course. Find out what it’s all about and get an idea of everything. You don’t have to have a lot of knowledge beforehand - you get to do it in the first year."
Mariana studied ESOL Skills for Life before progressing to GCSE English and Maths, and is now studying Access to HE: Science.
Studying: Access to HE: SciencePreviously: ESOL Skills for Life
"I started with ESOL, which was an intermediate course. I did English before in my country (Moldova). I did ESOL for a year, for all three terms but different levels. It helped me to improve my language and overcome the culture shock. The teachers were understanding and tried to give advice, and they helped me a lot. I also met other people who are in the same boat.
"I did ESOL in 2015, and in 2016 I did my GCSE Maths and English. I did both of them before but I did these ones too, for speakers of native English. It’s the impression that without GCSEs you can’t have a good job. It helped to learn the subjects in another language.
"I’m now studying Access to HE: Science. I did science in my country so I thought it would be easier for me. So far I have got a distinction! All the teachers give great support and I make the most of it. I’m applying for now for teacher training so hopefully it will start a uni course next September.
"I would recommend ESOL for people who want to improve their language and for people who don’t have too many contacts here. It’s a great way to meet people who know what you are going through. You can share the experience. My first friends here were from ESOL. Knowing them has given me a chance to visit other countries too."
Amy is studying an Access to HE Diploma to enable her to pursue a career as a children's nurse.
Access to HE Diploma in Nursing, Midwifery and Medical Science
“I originally started at Petroc on a catering course, before progressing onto Health and Social Care. I enjoyed my time at college, but had been in education a long time so decided to take a year out and work.
It was during this time – at the start of this year – that I had an epiphany! All of a sudden I knew what I wanted to do: become a children’s nurse. However, I didn’t have the right qualifications to go straight to university.
I found out about the Access to HE course through a friend and knew that it was exactly what I was looking for, so applied straight away.
I’m really enjoying the diploma so far. Most people are in the same boat and want the same things out of the course, so we all support and encourage each other. It can be challenging balancing working and studying, but I’m lucky that my employer is very understanding.
Although it’s hard work – we’ve already had to hand in four assignments in the first term – it’s definitely worth it. I feel like my confidence has already improved a lot, and it has given me the belief that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.
I’ve recently applied to Bournemouth University for a three year course, which starts with 12 weeks of theory and then goes straight into a hospital placement – I can’t wait. In the future I’d like to specialise in neonatal care.”
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