Adult college courses offer ‘vital’ opportunity to develop key job skills

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‘It’s never too late’: University courses for adults offer ‘vital’ opportunity to develop key job skills

By JOHN RAFERTY, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

THE Covid pandemic has disrupted many lives in different ways, but during a period of reflection for some, a notable new trend is the large number of adults looking to resume their education.

Glasgow Clyde College works in partnership with the Scottish Wider Access Program (SWAP) to help adult learners with low or outdated qualifications progress to higher education at university or college.

These courses are built with progression in mind and aim to provide as many opportunities as possible for those returning to school. SWAP students can apply for hundreds of degrees and HNCs at institutions across the country.

This year we have welcomed an impressive 234 adults to our SWAP programs, and in the West of Scotland over 1000 adults take the opportunity at participating colleges each year.

Glasgow Clyde College offers six SWAP Access courses across our three campuses in a range of subject areas which include: Humanities; Law, Criminal Justice and Social Sciences; Biological and Chemical Sciences; health sciences and biological sciences; Medical sciences and nursing.

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SWAP courses are unique in that they are designed in partnership with universities and all successful students receive the “SWAP guarantee” of a place in an HNC or degree course upon completion, with students able to earn places in degree programs after only 10 months of study.

Universities participating in this program include University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow Caledonian, University of the West of Scotland and University of Stirling.

Many SWAP students did not have the opportunity to obtain higher education and further education immediately after school was not an option. Some may have raised a family, while others have worked for a living, and not all have been in full-time education for at least three years.

SWAP courses offer an alternative route to higher education that gives adults intensive academic preparation as well as the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence required for the next stage.

The university environment is often more relaxed and supportive than most educational environments and the flexibility offered by online and blended learning has allowed students to adapt their studies to other responsibilities, opening up lessons to a group wider range of potential learners.

SWAP courses have played a major role in transforming opportunities for thousands of underprivileged groups served by the college who have been able to secure higher level jobs and better pay using SWAP pathways. This has been an essential tool to help reverse the cycle of inequality and our SWAP courses are a deliberately accessible route.

It’s never ‘too late’ to learn, and if you’re interested in one of our SWAP courses, please visit our website.

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