Sisters succeed at Solihull College & University Centre
Monday, 9 May, 2016

Three sisters who are studying at Solihull College & University Centre are well on their way to gaining their degrees.

Sophie Preece and Rae-Anne Preece are currently studying towards their university level qualifications whilst Stef Preece is set to join her sisters in the new academic year. All three of the sisters explained they had a lack of previous qualifications and were working full-time before deciding that they wanted to return to education and gain a new career, Sophie commented “When I was working I realised I would either have to carry on doing this job forever or do something about it; that’s why I came to College.”

Sophie, who studied her Access to Higher Education course at the College, explained how the course allowed her to experience a variety of subject areas, allowing her to choose her route in education and is now studying towards her BA (Hons) Social Studies Degree. Whilst studying Sophie has gained a keen interest in research and hopes to be able to progress into a career as an investigative journalist.

Sophie’s sister Stef is due to follow in her sister’s footsteps as she will also be returning to education in September to study a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community. Stef, who is currently on maternity leave, has previously worked behind a bar alongside volunteering at a community rehabilitation centre, something which led her to the Youth and Community course at Solihull College & University Centre. Stef was inspired by her voluntary work and is hoping to continue working with people to offer counselling once she completes her degree.

Third sister Rae-Anne Preece, who also had a lack of formal qualifications and has previously been through the Criminal Justice System and has since volunteered with the Criminal Justice System to develop probation services across the area, found the course at the College to be perfect for her and gave her a second chance. Rae-Anne is currently studying the Youth and Community BA (Hons) Degree and has ventured into European research whilst studying at Solihull College & University Centre. She hopes to work in forensic psychology and in European and global research. Rae-Anne has worked with her peers including fellow Youth and Community student Francesca Proctor, on a variety of research projects.

Francesca pays thanks to HE Enhancement and Access Programme Manager at the College, Keith Rathbone as she says “Without Keith I wouldn’t have been here studying towards my degree. I was a drug user in the past and didn’t have many qualifications but the course has given me so many opportunities. I never thought I would be able to travel in my degree.” Francesca completed the Access to Higher Education course at the College before progressing on to her Youth and Community Degree. Francesca hopes to use her past experience and continue with her research in European Studies to look into the trafficking and exploitation of young women across Europe.

Francesca is now set to travel to Latvia and Rae-Anne to Lithuania to continue with their research whilst Stef and Sophie continue with their studies before beginning their career journeys. The Access to Higher Education course at Solihull College & University Centre allows students, at both their Woodlands and Blossomfield Campus, to gain a full understanding of subjects they will study at university even though they may lack any formal qualifications.

The Access course then allows students to progress on to full degree programmes such as those that Sophie, Stef, Rae-Anne and Francesca are completing.

For more information on the courses available at Solihull College & University Centre please visit courses page or call 0121 678 7000.

Social Studies students
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