Skip to main content
120 A3632

Access to HE Diploma learner spotlight: Kelly Baker

Mum of three, Kelly Baker, 39, decided to head back into the classroom as an adult learner to begin her career in psychology or education by studying an Access to HE Diploma (Social Science).

Here, Kelly shares her experiences of life as an adult learner at NSCG Newcastle College.

"Hi! I'm Kelly and I'm a mum to three children aged 19, 18 and 5. I decided to return to education to create a better future for myself and my family.

I love caring for people, and after finding out more about the Access to HE Diploma (Social Science), I decided to enrol at Newcastle College to help me turn my natural attributes into a career. I really hoped that the course would provide the building blocks for me to embark on a rewarding career, and what a journey it has been!

Looking back at my time at school, I rarely attended and when I did, nothing really captured my attention, although I did achieve a grade C in both my GCSE English and GCSE Maths albeit a long time ago.


Studying the Access to HE Diploma has given me a huge confidence boost to really think about my future career prospects. I feel like my goals and aspirations are achievable now, and I feel that my ability to study academic subjects has greatly improved. Coming into adult education was daunting, but I'm now so excited to be carrying on my studies having accepted a place to study Psychology and Child Development at Staffordshire University.

My advice for anyone looking to retrain is do it! It's challenging, but totally achievable. It's nothing like high school so don't be put off by your past experiences of education. Financial support may be available to you, so definitely ask for help if you're unsure what you are entitled to. The bursary is great as this helps with things like travel costs. I also work as a cleaner to boost my income as you can work part-time around your college timetable.

The Access to HE team at NSCG really do have your best interests at heart, and are always there to help and support you. My tutors completely understood my personal needs and were interested in finding out more about my family. Juggling college work and family life was my biggest challenge, but it was so worth it for the better future I will be able to provide for my family."

If you've been inspired by Kelly's story, find out more about studying an Access to HE course at Newcastle College.