NSCG | Q&A with former Access to HE Learner, Shabana Norrin
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2nd September 2022

After raising five children, Shabana Norrin chose to return to education after 22 years to study for an Access to HE Diploma (Social Science) alongside her GCSE English. Here, Shabana chats to us about her experiences of studying at NSCG and how she plans to progress to university.

Q: Why did you choose to return to education?

A. I chose to return to education after 22 years to give me the qualifications to work with young people and families in the community.

Q: How has studying the Access to HE Diploma changed your life so far?

A. This course has absolutely changed my future and really prepared me for university life and future studies. Returning to the classroom was really scary but with all the support from my tutors, this made the transition so much easier. I also studied for my GCSE English at the same time so I feel super-ready for the commitment needed to complete my degree.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge?

A. Returning to education as an adult and getting in the mind-set of learning a lot about academic writing was my biggest challenge and also re-sitting my GCSE English, but I have been fully supported along the way by my tutors, so that really helped me to gain the confidence I needed. I have five children so juggling my home life with college has been a big learning curve.

Q: How did the Access course prepare you for Uni?

A. Workload planning really helped me, and my tutors gave me lots of support to use referencing correctly. The rounded knowledge you gain alongside guest speakers is really fulfilling and helps to give you a focus on your future career aspirations. Passing all of my assignments and forging new friendships has really helped me to prepare for university life.

Q: What's next for you?

A. I am now heading to Staffordshire University to study Social Work. I really want to work with children, young people and their families.

Q: What are your future career goals?

A. I am hoping to work supporting vulnerable young people and families - this is a real passion of mine.

Q. Finally, what would you say to other people in your position, who are considering taking 'the leap' back into education?

A. Don't hesitate, just go for it! It's really worth the hard work.

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