Claire Kettlewell, 30, hails from Silverdale and started an Access to Higher Education in Health & Human Sciences course in September 2015, completing her GCSE English & Maths at the same time.
AM: Why did you choose this course?
CK: I have severe dyslexia and so found my school years difficult, so I did care work with disabled children, and had my own children. I started back into education in 2014 and I decided this course was a great way to give me the opportunity to move on to other options like university.
When I first came to the open evening I was nervous as I didn’t know what to expect, but I was thrilled by the warm welcome and the understanding tutors. They took the time to talk through my options, what they gave me that evening has stayed with me even now.
AM: Was College like you had expected. If not, why?
CK: The college was fab and I would highly recommend it to anyone, whether you’re first leaving secondary school, or returning as a mature student; the support, welcome and warmth is fab!
AM: What did you most enjoy about College life?
CK: I enjoyed meeting new people, and finding new skills, like writing essays.
AM: What opportunities did you have as a student at the College?
CK: Being in a relaxed, but informative environment gave me the opportunity to use my imagination and be creative with my writing skills. I especially enjoyed my final topic. We were given an extended research project and we got to choose the subject, and were taught how to research it and then present it. We also had the opportunity to work within the Colleges’ Science Lab termly, which supported us with projects and gave us experience of working within a real working environment.
AM: What was the teaching style like on your course?
CK: Very expert, helpful, supportive and enthusiastic. The course covers a lot of theory, but also includes practical elements particularly within the Anatomy and Physiology unit. The course helped to continue to build my confidence, with the help and support of the tutors. They encouraged me to push myself and improve every time with my assignments.
AM: Can you describe a typical day at College?
CK: College started at 9am. I had a lesson with a tutorial with the rest of my group, where the tutor led us through the assignments. Some days we had a workshop with the tutor to work through the assignments, read over our work and give us feedback. After lunch we changed tutors and generally worked on a different subject for example Anatomy & Physiology.
AM: What are you doing now?
CK: I’m doing an Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Cumbria based in Lancaster. I had a placement last year in a paediatric community setting, working in the Preston area, that I really enjoyed. This year I’m working through a research project around stroke rehab and mental well-being of stroke patients, and I recently attended the College of Occupational Therapy conference in Birmingham with lectures and other members of the student bodies. I have a big 8-week placement after Christmas… at the moment I don’t know where I’ll be sent but I would love a hospital based placement with older adults.
AM: If you could give one piece of advice to people considering College, what would it be?
CK: Do it! The college was instrumental in building my confidence and helping me with my dyslexia. The tutors are always there to listen and help. The relaxed yet encouraging environment creates the perfect place to push yourself, yet still offering amazing support.
If Claire has prompted an interest in Access to HE @ Kendal College, we offer a fantastic range of courses. Start your future on our website.
The interview was conducted by Adele Mundy, the College’s Student Services Manager.