Two University Centre Rotherham (UCR) graduates have accomplished the ultimate educational journey together by progressing from Level 1 study all the way up to university.
Amy Hicklin and Nichola Tongue both completed their Level 1 Progression course at Rotherham College, before going on to graduate from their Access to Health Course at UCR.
After failing to achieve the grades they needed at GCSE, both Amy and Nichola were nervous about education and formed a supportive bond. The pair, both single mothers, wanted to improve their lives, so set about acquiring the qualifications to go into the Healthcare industry, with Amy wanting to become an Adult Nurse and Nichola a Midwife.
During their time on their Level 1 Progression to achieve GCSE English grades, Nichola visited Ghana as a volunteer, to work with midwives and gained amazing experiences. Amy helped raised funds for the equipment in Ghana and organised donations of bras and baby clothes.
Amy and Nichola subsequently both achieved their English GCSEs and progressed onto the Access to Health course, going on to also achieve their GCSEs in maths. This allowed Amy to secure a place at Sheffield Hallam University for Adult Nursing, and Nichola for Midwifery. Both joined this year’s progression learners for a motivational zoom, speaking about the importance of pursuing your dreams.
Nichola said: ‘’Being able to re-enter education and get a second chance at my dream career has been fantastic. I met a friend for life in Amy and I am confident I can provide a very secure future for myself and for my children.
‘’Midwifery is so rewarding and I am able to go to work every day and feel like I have made a real difference. My visit to Ghana was amazing and the help I received from University Centre Rotherham made such a huge difference to my outcomes.’’
Amy stated: ‘’After leaving school with no GCSEs in maths or English, my journey at University Centre Rotherham enabled me to go to university and pursue the career I had always seen myself in. I love helping others and Adult Nursing allows me to do that.
‘’Choosing Higher Education really has changed my whole life for the better.’’
Gina Burgess, Curriculum Team Leader for Access to Higher Education in Health, taught both Amy and Nichola on their courses throughout their educational journey at University Centre Rotherham. She stated that the pair are an inspiration to current students.
She said: ‘’Having Amy and Nichola return to share their experiences with current students was important to show them that choosing Higher Education can help you achieve your chosen career path.
‘’Access to Higher Education courses opens pathways for adults of any age who never got the chance to pursue their dream career, or who chose the wrong one. It gives students a second chance to improve their quality of life by becoming happier in their chosen workplace.
‘’It is never too late for anyone to decide they want to make a positive change.’’