Shaneire Granaghan, from Enniskillen, has recently completed the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at South West College's Erne campus, and progressed to pursing a Foundation Degree in Science in Health and Social Care. With the successful completion of her first semester, Shaneire is already certain she is on the right track to accomplishing her career ambitions.

Following her GCSEs at St Mary's High School Brollagh, Shaneire carefully considered her options and chose to enrol at SWC Erne campus to pursue the BTEC Extended Level 3 Health and Social Care course. Shaneire who was not ready to move off to attend University, chose to progress and enrolled on to the Ulster University Foundation Degree in Science in Health and Social Care at the College.

Choosing this pathway was not merely a means for Shaneire to advance academically, but it also acted as a gateway to various opportunities. During her studies, Shaneire has been presented with an abundance of learning opportunities, and says ‘if I had stayed on at school, I would have had to take on two other A levels, but this way I achieved the equivalent of three A levels and got to learn more about the health and social care field, gain work experience and travel.’

Through her studies, Shaneire discovered her true passion for assisting vulnerable adults in the healthcare sector. This led her to secure a position working with adults with intellectual disabilities at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Shaneire also got the opportunity to travel overseas to Humber College in Canada, through the Turing scheme, where she gained invaluable insights into different cultural contexts and observed how children grow and play, enhancing her knowledge and skillset.

Reflecting on her experience studying abroad in Canada, Shaneire expressed,

"This was an absolutely incredible experience, and I would 100% do it all over again. This scheme was completely funded by the Turing scheme. I met people over there who are living in different countries and even people who are living an hour up the road. We learned about the cultural differences that exist between us while enjoying the sun and taking part in a wide range of activities such as Niagara Falls, treetop trekking, Canadas Wonderland and so much more. This experience has taught me so much about how children grow and play in Canada, where favourable weather permits outdoor play in nature much more frequently than in Ireland.

Shaneire highlights the independence and personal growth that college education fosters.

She said: "College offers a lot more independence. You are not treated like a child, and personally, I get along well with my tutors. It teaches you to manage your time more effectively and helps build your confidence and independence."

As Shaneire progresses in her educational journey, she hopes to raise awareness about this educational pathway among other individuals and those contemplating their post-GCSE options.

Shaneire said, "I certainly recommend this pathway to other students interested in a career in health and social care. I would not have been able to achieve what I have without starting with my Level 3 Health and Social Care course and without the help of my dedicated tutors who have stood by me pushing me towards success when I did not feel like pushing myself. I am incredibly grateful for being accepted into this course and for the opportunities I have had, such as the Turing scheme. My goal is to continue along my career path in health and social care and ultimately obtain my degree in social work."

Health & Social Care