Access to HE student Gemma Anderson
After 15 years in an administration role Gemma Anderson wanted a change of career and so signed-up for one-year Access to Higher Education course to bridge the gap between her existing qualifications and those needed to apply to study for a degree at university.
One she’d achieved her qualification Gemma was offered a place on a specialist English Language BA (Hons) degree at the University of Wolverhampton and, as part of her course, she returned to the college on a voluntary basis to support students on the same Access to HE course she had studied two years previously.
Gemma has just finished her degree and will be starting a post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE) at the university in September, which will enable her to achieve her ambition of becoming a teacher.
She said: “Access to HE is a such a fantastic opportunity and can lead to so many exciting career options in the future. As soon as I started the course I realised that I wanted to be an English teacher in a college and the qualification I gained definitely helped me gain my place on the degree course.
“A few years ago I would never have thought that I’d be graduating from university and going on to do a PGCE and, when I did my voluntary work at the college, I was able to show the current Access to HE students that if you want to do something, and put your mind to it, anything is possible.”
And Gemma’s contributions at the college didn’t go un-noticed – she so impressed staff that they nominated her for a University of Wolverhampton Volunteer of the Year Award and, from over 860 nominations, she came third in the Volunteer Mentor of the Year category.