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Two women smiling at camera / Dwy fenyw yn gwenu ar y camera

Access course opens the door to higher education

The thought of returning to education after a spell away can be quite daunting at first. But more and more adult learners are returning to the classroom to update their skills and boost their career prospects.

Cherene Napier chose to study Access to Business and Financial Services at Gower College Swansea, a course she felt would help her gain employment opportunities in larger organisations with more potential for growth.

“The best thing about the course was the chance it gave me to relearn topics I had not been so interested in as a younger student,” says Cherene. “I found that I enjoyed them more the second time around. Also, all the new subjects we covered in the classroom were giving me skills I knew I could implement in a real working environment.

“The support I received from my tutors was fantastic and it really pushed me to give more to the course than I thought I ever could. It wasn’t easy – working part time and being a mother of two young children – but I utilised my time management skills to complete the course.”

Cherene is currently on the HND Business and Management course at the College and intends to follow that up with the BA (Hons) Top Up option to get the full Degree. After that, she would like to pursue business development as an occupation.

Taking the decision to enrol on an Access course was a major turning point for Cherene, one she would recommend to anyone else in a similar position to hers.

“I left school at 16 after not enjoying my education, but studying Access at College has shown me that it is the way you are encouraged and taught that gives you the confidence you need to succeed.”

Carla Davies also enrolled on the Access to Business and Financial Services course.

After completing a pre-Access Skills for Further Study programme, Carla chose the Access course because she wanted to learn all aspects of business, with a view to starting her own one day.

“I really enjoyed the finance modules and loved how much my confidence grew whilst being at College,” says Carla. “My lecturers were so helpful with any issues or concerns I had, and the support system that is in place is amazing – I was pointed in the right direction and received the help I needed when I needed it.”

Carla has also progressed onto the HND Business and Management at Sketty Hall Business School and is about to finish her first year.

“My advice for adult learners would be to just go for it!” She adds. “My decision to come back into full time education was driven by my wish to make a better future for me and my family and it is the best decision I ever made. Gower College Swansea is so understanding and supportive, I would not want to have gone to any other university or college.”

“Hearing stories like those of Cherene and Carla is really inspiring, especially as they both speak about feeling so well supported at the College,” says Learning Area Manager Darren Fountain. “I’m delighted that both have since progressed onto Higher Education courses with us and look forward to seeing that they do next in their careers.”