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From Teaching Assistant to Adult Nurse with the help of Calderdale College’s Access to Higher Education

After successfully developing a career in teaching, 12-months ago Leanne made the brave decision to head back into education to pursue her passion in the Health and Social Care sector.

Leanne worked in a local school as a Teaching Assistant and soon realised that to progress in her career, she would need to continue training to reach the next level. Knowing she would need to go back into education, this was Leanne’s opportunity to retrain in an occupation she has always wanted to pursue.

Leanne said: “I’d got to a point in my Teaching Assistant role where I’d gone as far as I could without accessing further training. I knew I needed to retrain and this was my chance to do it in something I really wanted to do and my passion wasn’t teaching, it was nursing. It’s always been nursing.”

Once Leanne decided to retrain, she researched the courses available at Calderdale College after it was recommended to her by a colleague.

“After researching what takes to get into university, I decided that the Access to Higher Education (HE) Health course at Calderdale College had everything I needed. I felt more comfortable with the content this course was offering.

“Once I’d started the process of applying, the staff seemed really friendly. If I had any questions, they’d get back to me straight away and they all made me feel at ease. That’s important, you want to feel like people listen to you and will answer your questions. The teams at Calderdale College were great.”

Leanne is now seven months into the Access to HE Health course at the College and, although the last few months have been a new challenge, it’s an experience she’ll never forget as she’s one step closer to her dream career.

“We have a really nice class and the staff at the College are great, we all feel comfortable. For most of us, we haven’t been in education for a long time so having that support makes us feel at ease,” Leanne added.

“It’s hard at first and takes a bit of getting used to, but we’re all here for each other. I’m 100% supported.”

With only a couple of months to go, Leanne and her class are gearing up for university this September.

“I can’t believe that we’re now thinking about going to university and that it’s actually happening – the time has gone so quickly. This was the missing piece in my life, and now it’s all coming together, this course will allow me to go on and do what I want to do.

“If you’re thinking about retraining, definitely come and do it. The Access to HE courses allow you to do your GCSEs alongside and give you the UCAS points needed to get into university.”

Access to Higher Education

Access qualifications at Calderdale College are designed to give you the UCAS points so you can progress to a degree-level course after only one year of study. Intensive courses in areas such as Health, Art & Design and Social Sciences are available at Calderdale College and prepare students for study as an undergraduate. By studying with the College, you are guaranteed an interview with the University of Huddersfield, providing you meet the University’s eligibility criteria. Find out more about Access to HE here: www.calderdale.ac.uk/university-centre/