If you are thinking of studying at university, but are worried about your qualifications or haven’t studied in a long time, then have you seen Staffordshire University’s Step Up to HE programme? Gemma Jones, now a Criminology student, is one of many of our undergraduate students who progressed through the programme and has shared with us what she thought of it.
What motivated you to apply for Step Up?
I wanted a change of career, I felt I was capable of doing more in life than what I was currently doing. I did go to college but ended up dropping out in my final year due to personal circumstances. Step Up gave me the opportunity to gain the extra UCAS points I needed for a degree. It also gave me the skills and confidence to achieve and learn at a university degree level after taking a few years away from education.
How do you feel now you have progressed on to your degree?
I feel proud and so happy I took the opportunity to better myself! I look forward to what the future holds and I’m exited for all the future opportunities that may now be presented to me as a result of finishing my degree! I no longer feel stuck in a rut and I feel that I can achieve almost anything I set my mind to!
Has Step Up helped you in anyway, did it help prepare you for your degree?
Yes most definitely! Step Up helped me in more ways than I could of predicted. It increased my confidence as well as giving me the skills I need to write successful assignments and information on where I can get help should I need it! They have also helped me since leaving the programme with applications to things such as Student Finance. The staff who run Step Up have been especially amazing with me as I found out I was pregnant on my second day of the programme!
Thanks to their support I managed to complete the programme and continue onto my degree without feeling like I needed to drop out. They still offer me support to this day alongside with my amazing lecturers who have all been so supportive after the birth of my beautiful baby girl. I managed to continue with my degree only five weeks after she was born and it’s thanks to all of the amazing staff at Staffordshire University!
What advice would you give to students considering returning to education?
Absolutely do it! Step Up has definitely changed my life for the better and shown me it’s never too late to go back into education! They have so much support it’s hard to think of reasons not to!