Jean Archibald wants to use her college experience to inspire and encourage other prospective mature students to embrace returning to education.
Jean (60) from Falkirk, recently completed a SVQ Health and Social Care course at Forth Valley College after it became mandatory to have a qualification in care to work in the industry.
Jean, who currently works at Carrondale Care Home, said: “I had to complete a qualification in care as it has become mandatory to have one and Forth Valley College is my local college with existing links to my employer.
“The lecturers and SVQ assessor at the College have been absolutely amazing – they’ve been there to help, even on their days off, when I’ve needed their support. They’ve taken the time to help me to better understand the course content. The library staff were also very helpful, I spent a lot of time in the library at the beginning of the course.
“The other students have all been great and I’ve really enjoyed building those new relationships. I would say that my practice at work has improved and I’ve learned more about the different resources available in care. My confidence has also grown and I believe I am more capable than I originally thought.
“Coming to college was quite a scary experience, I found it quite daunting as I haven’t been in an academic environment since school. Trying to get things you know down on paper was a challenge and I wasn’t sure I would be able to do the work. The age difference is also quite intimidating, coming back as a mature student.
“I would encourage anyone thinking about coming to or back to college as a mature student to go for it – you will receive all the help and support you need to get through it and it really has been a positive experience for me. In the beginning I was very anxious and it has all worked out."