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Chloe Shaw

At the age of 30, Chloe Shaw is finally pursuing her long held ambition of becoming an architect and has an unconditional offer to study at Plymouth University in September.

Having spent more than a decade out of education raising three children, Chloe was advised to do an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Art and Design, which allowed her to rediscover some of the skills she gained during her A Levels and to also develop some new techniques she hadn’t explored before.

Chloe said: “I initially had reservations about doing an Access course; I already had an A Level in Art and I was impatient to get started with my degree. However, during my time at City College I have realised that this course was a necessary step, especially as I have been out of formal education for so long.

“Studying part-time really suited my lifestyle as I could fit my lectures around my home life, and my lecturer Sue – and the College in general – have been extremely supportive in enabling me to complete my studies under some quite difficult circumstances.

“As a working artist, Sue is extremely knowledgeable about her subject and has taught me many new art techniques that I had never even heard of. Her teaching style is accessible and easy to understand. I have progressed academically, technically, and personally, which has improved my confidence and provided me with the foundations that I need for the next stage in my journey. I now feel fully prepared for the challenges of higher education.”

When Chloe started researching the Access course, she also found out she was entitled to a bursary, and would advise all those considering returning to education to look into whether they are eligible.

Chloe added: “This course will provide you with the formal skills you need for higher education. You will learn new, and improve upon already known, practical skills. As well as this you will also be taught academic essay writing and presenting skills, which will be invaluable if you continue on to do a degree.

“I would say it is probably best if you have some experience of studying art already; I can see how this course could be challenging if you take it on as an absolute beginner. Though, it’s not impossible to complete the course without prior knowledge if you’re willing to put in the effort!

Sue is wonderful and does all she can to support all of her students, and City College is a very supportive environment for mature students.”