“I have definitely made some lifelong friends on this course, we have all branched off into different degrees and universities but we have all supported each other hugely throughout and continuing into the next stages. ”
We caught up with Toni, a former student at ACL, who after successfully completing her GCSE English enrolled onto an Access to Higher Education course. She has now been accepted into University and looks forward to reaching her career goals.
“I am a single parent to two young children. At the time of the course they were 2 and 5. But I am lucky enough to have family close by to help out with childcare. I would often read my book and course work to my youngest child, she wouldn’t understand what I was talking about, but it helped me understand the topics and allowed me to see where in my assignments I went wrong so I could fix it. ”
Having struggled at school due to her dyslexia, Toni found English hard. She sat her GCSE English exam three times while at school and had not managed to get a higher than a D. She didn’t believe that a University degree was achievable. However it was apparent to Toni that as she grew up and had children, she had developed new ways of managing her learning.
“Being a mature student has allowed me to understand my own requirements and figure my best way of learning. An example would be using words that are harder to spell. Being older, my vocabulary is much wider than when I was 16. I have been able to use different words and phrases that are easier to spell.”
After enrolling on her GCSE course, Toni applied for the Access to Higher Education course. However, she decided that it might be best to apply directly to University without doing the Access course. Unfortunately (or fortunately in her case) the application fell through and Toni made the decision to continue her studies with ACL once she has passed her GCSE.
“I am actually really glad that it all fell through, as I feel the Access course has really helped me to get back into learning and will help me academically. ”
There are many different routes into higher education which are not always seen as conventional but offer the same opportunities. In Toni’s case, it allowed her to explore different topics and discover what she wanted to do as a career.
“I would recommend this Access course and ACL to anyone that is thinking about applying. It makes you think about the world in a different way, and helps with study skills for University. ACL is an establishment dedicated to teaching adults, rather than a college which is geared towards school leavers.”
“You will make lifelong friends. Adults who are all in the same or similar position as you, trying to better themselves for their family.”
It’s never too late to achieve your goals. Whether it’s a bad school experience, feeling as though you’re not ready, or even unsure about what you want to do, there are always other options available to you to achieve your goals – ACL are here to support you. Toni’s experiences during her GCSE and Access to Higher Education course are testament to this. We wish her all the best in her studies at University and achieving her goals.
ACL Access to Higher Education courses start in January. We’re the only further education provider in Essex to offer a second start point for this academic year.
These courses support applications to degrees and further studies in:
- Early Years
- Social Work
- And many more opportunities
Learn in a virtual classroom where you can interact with other students and receive one-to-one support from experienced tutors.
An Access to Higher Diploma is equivalent to A-Levels or Foundation Degree. Funding options are available meaning courses could be free! To enrol on this course, you will need to book an assessment in October or November. #NoStoppingMe
Access to Higher Education webinar
We’ve launched a series of webinars to help you make an informed decision about our courses and which one is right for you. One of our tutors will dive into the course modules, talk through pathways to certain careers and future opportunities, and answer any questions you may have. All sessions are live and free to join.
To participate in these sessions, you will need a laptop or PC with internet connection, Google Chrome browser, and an email address.
We love to hear about your experiences.
If you would like to share your experiences about what you’ve achieved, gained, and developed whilst studying with us, we would love to hear from you.
Contact us to share your story – firstname.lastname@example.org