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Q&A with Access to HE Learner, Leoni White

Access to HE learner and Lifestyle Coach, Leoni White has returned to the classroom as an adult learner to take her career in a new direction. Here she chats to us about her motivations and career aspirations.

Q. Why did you choose to return to education?

A. I know that I have the potential to go further in my education. Things didn't quite work out for me the first time as a young adult, but I've also enjoyed learning and wanted to prove to myself that I can do it.

Q. Why did you choose to study the Access to HE Diploma (Social Science) at Stafford College?

A. I work in the community as a Lifestyle Coach and I desperately want to go into a healthcare career, but financially I cannot afford to give up my job. Then, I saw that Stafford College offers a flexible Access course whereby I can combine day, evening and online learning for just one day each week. This has meant that I can study around my current career, which is incredible.

Q. How do you juggle completing assignments alongside work and family commitments?

A. I do a lot of juggling! It's a bit challenging at first, but you soon get used to managing your family, work and college. It is really a possibility!


Q. How does the Access to HE course prepare you for university?

A. I have lots of experience of from various roles during my career, but the academic side of my knowledge has really improved since being on the course. Independent research, writing assignments and referencing are just some of the areas that I'm now competent in. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time since I started on the course in September.

Q. What's next for you?

A. I am aiming to progress to university to study a degree in Occupational Therapy. I have the options of Derby, Wolverhampton and Birmingham to consider.

Q. To any adult learners out there contemplating returning to education, what would your advice be?

A. Don't let age put you off! I have thought about studying previously, but never took it any further. I was really scared at coming back to college thinking everyone would be really young, but they aren't. The Access to HE Diploma offers you the flexibility to study and work which is really important for adult learners. Of course, there are some sacrifices that I have to make but overall, I can honestly say, it's the best thing I've ever done. I am looking forward to the future and sometime I have to squeeze myself that I am already half the way through the course, and I will be moving on to university in September. I'm so proud of myself!

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