After seven years out of education, Victoria Toates decided to kick-start her career with an Access to HE course at Havant & South Downs College. Now, she has achieved her goal and is studying Children’s Nursing at Oxford Brookes University.
Victoria started her Nursing and Healthcare Professionals Access course in 2017. She has spoken about how it got her ‘back into the studying mindset’ before starting a degree.
She continued: “Our tutors encouraged critical thinking and healthy debate between the students which built my confidence and kept me interested in past and present healthcare related issues.
“The advice from tutors was vital in my preparation for university interviews and I would not be where I am today without their support and guidance.”
Victoria added that her favourite parts of her course were the teaching and learning support as well as the friendships she formed.
She said: “I thoroughly enjoyed all subjects studied on my Access course. While the workload was challenging at times, I felt supported throughout the year by both the tutors and my fellow classmates.
“The friendships I made through the course are lifelong. While we came from varied backgrounds and carried with us different life experiences, we were all there for similar reasons and we continuously pushed each other to achieve our goals.”
And Victoria isn’t the only one who is now studying a degree thanks to an Access course. Suzanne Dixon and Caroline Martin studied the same course as Victoria.
Suzanne, who is now a student midwife at Bournemouth University said: “The course helped build confidence in myself and my abilities. It allowed me to make new friends who were in similar situations and it refreshed and enhanced my academic skills, invaluable teacher and peer support.”
Caroline said: “I feel massively prepared for university thanks to the Access course. My tutors, peers and work set has put me at a huge advantage for continuing on to gain my degree.”
Offering advice to future Access students, Victoria said: “Learn to love the library resources and the librarians, they are fantastic and extremely willing to help!
“If you are having any issues with the either the workload or something going on at home, talk to the tutors. They want you to succeed and hold a wealth of knowledge and support.”
Click here to find out more about our range of Access to HE courses.