Being on this course has changed my life in so many ways

Jennifer McNally had to put her career plans on hold to deal with the sudden deaths of two close family members.

But now, thanks to Telford College, she has a teaching career in her sights once again.

Jennifer, from Muxton, has just completed the second year of a part-time access to health programme, and will now continue her studies on a foundation degree course in health and social care.

The 37-year-old has been described by staff as an ‘excellent student’, and was nominated for an Open College Network West Midlands learner award for commitment to study. 

Jennifer was originally hoping to study nursing at university, but changed plans through a combination of her family circumstances, health reasons, and a need to stay closer to home.

“I initially started on the full-time course but I needed to take time to come to terms with this loss,” she said.

“It meant I missed quite a few weeks of college, but my tutors were  amazing at supporting me to come back to the course, and I changed to part time.”

Jennifer completed the health portion of the course in the first year, gaining merits and distinctions for most assignments, and discovered a previously untapped love of biology.

She said: “Moving onto the foundation degree course in health and social care here at Telford College will give me a much wider range of options career wise and will allow me the chance to possibly teach one day if I choose.”

It also keeps the door open for an eventual career in nursing for Jennifer in the future.

She said: “Being able to stay close to home for my access course has allowed me to continue to take care of my daughter and to support my mother with her mobility problems.

“I have met some amazing tutors, without their help and dedication I would not have completed this access course and had the opportunities I now have. I am deeply grateful for them. I’m sure I have met friends I will now have for life.

“Being on this course has changed my life in so many ways, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds . . . maybe I’ll be teaching here some day.”

Jennifer’s tutor, Lesley Hyde, said: “Jenny has continued to work conscientiously, maintaining a clear focus at all times.

“Not only has she maintained her very good standard on the access course, she has also continued to work part-time and to bring up a family.  

“This is a challenging task for anyone, but especially challenging for an individual who has experienced the very tragic and traumatic events that Jenny has.


“She has maintained a high degree of focus and dedication throughout, not wavering in difficult times; she has allowed her strength and ambition to come through. 


“Jenny is aspirational and an inspiration to all others she meets.  She is resilient and in all an excellent student, with a very promising future.”


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