Alex Pritchard, from Enniskillen, who studied Business Studies at South West College (SWC), is now studying a PGCE in Business at Manchester Metropolitan University, and as she looks back at her time at SWC, she is grateful to her former tutors for helping her fall in love with Business Studies and with the idea of a career in teaching.

“I found school quite difficult and when I left I only had two GCSE’s. I explored the options available to me and decided to study business at South West College. The lecturers were very supportive, they encouraged me to just take things one year at a time, and I found that I really fell in love with the subject.”

Studying at South West College allowed Alex to have a fresh start with her education. While completing her Business Studies course she also repeated her Maths and English GCSE’s and studied an essential skills course in ICT. This rejuvenated approach to her studies meant she learned new skills and gained experience that would help her when she made the step to university.

“My time at SWC meant that by the time I went to university I felt better prepared than I ever would have had I went straight from school. Having studied modules that were coursework based and having developed good working relationships with my tutors, I was ready for the culture of university education.”

For Alex, her positive educational experience also meant she left South West College with aspirations of being a teacher herself, and last month she visited the new Erne Campus to catch up with some of her old tutors, watch them work and absorb more of what they had to offer.

Alex says, “more than anything, my time at SWC made me fall in love with the idea of teaching. I loved how Further Education tutors could work and how they could create a relaxed environment in which everyone still learned so much. I decided that’s what I wanted to do, which is why I’m studying my PGCE now. I wanted to come in and observe my old lecturers to see how they teach and what techniques I could learn from them. I had real flashbacks to when I was studying here, but I was also able to learn from them in a new way than before, because I’m observing them with a fresh perspective.”

Watching her old tutors with the keen eye of someone working towards the career herself, Alex was impressed with the new facilities the Erne Campus provides them with.

“the facilities here at the Erne Campus allow teachers to engage their students more than ever."

Alex added, "The education on offer here is fantastic and I’m sure plenty of people will be considering SWC as an option when it comes to continuing their studies, particularly anyone who wants an alternative to traditional studying and traditional exams. SWC was a great help for me and being back here now I can see that it’s going to help a lot more people in the future.”

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