When Taylor Turnbull failed to get the GCSE grades she’d been hoping for, she thought her hopes of going to university had gone.
But thanks to the Access To Higher Education programme at Telford College, she is now making the most of her second chance to gain a degree.
Taylor, 27, from St Georges, originally attended Telford College as a 16-year-old on a travel and tourism course, but decided she wanted to work with children, so switched to a two-year child development course.
She said: “After college I worked in many different roles such as a nanny, nursery practitioner and a waitress, but decided I wanted to go to university to become a children’s nurse.
“When I was at the Lord Silkin School, I was not aware of how important GCSEs were going to be for my later education, and unfortunately I did not do so well with my results.
“So I attended evening classes at Telford College to resit my GCSEs, which qualified me for the access course and a path to university.
“The access course was perfect for me as I was able to work alongside my studies. Having been out of education so long, it was also quite challenging – I had to learn how to complete assignments for deadlines whilst meeting learning outcomes.
“But this has now benefited me as a university student, as deadlines and learning outcomes aren’t as daunting.”
Having completed her access course at Telford College with nine distinctions and seven merits, Taylor has now completed her first year on a children’s nursing degree course at Staffordshire University.
She said: “I have enjoyed every second. It hasn’t been an easy year due to Covid-19 and having to do a lot of learning from home, but I know it will all be worth it when I graduate.
“If I speak to anyone who thinks about going to university but feels like me they don’t have the grades, I always recommend the Telford College access course.”
Caroline Bastow, learner manager for higher education and access at Telford College, said: “Having taught Taylor when she was 17, it was obvious that she would work with people.
“Her infectious positive personality meant it was a pleasure to be in her company. But like many others, despite having all the character traits and personality to move into children’s nursing, she didn’t have the qualifications and that’s where Access to HE helped her.
“When students have clarity about their end goal, learning becomes so much more purposeful, and the high grades just come piling in.
“Access to HE classes provide students with the space to grow and develop in confidence, as well as academically.”
She added: “Whether you want to be on the front line clinically or in a more supportive role, there is an Access to HE course waiting for you.
“If you have been helping out in your community during the pandemic and enjoyed this more than you thought you would, why not look at moving into paid work within the community?”
For full details about all of Telford College’s higher education courses, see www.telfordcollege.ac.uk/university-level