Kevin Allison

Kevin Allison
Kevin Allison

Kevin Allison (22) from Falkirk progressed to the the University of Stirling to complete his BSc (Hons) Software Development with Cyber Security, but he can’t thank Forth Valley College enough for helping him get there.

He said: “I chose to study at Forth Valley College after it was recommended to me by my interrupted learning teacher and my high school’s support for learning department. It was recommended to me as not only was it local, but the college had a really good reputation for supporting students, especially those with complex needs.

“Due to my health and other external factors, I wasn’t able to go with my initial plan, but the College provided support from the beginning, by highlighting the progression routes they had. Starting with the Access to Computing course, I could gain any of the level 5 units I was missing and get used to the College environment.

“After the Access course I moved onto the NC Computing with Cyber Security course where I would build upon knowledge from high school and Access, but also be introduced to new topics like digital forensics and ethical hacking. Then I could go for the HND/integrated degree in software development with a solid knowledge base.

“While I didn’t know a whole lot about the FVC computing department until I joined, I quickly learned that the lecturers weren’t just extremely knowledgeable about their fields, they were also really nice and cared about you.

“It has also been great that during our course we have used industry tools like IntelliJ IDEA and Oracle APEX, as well as other software that the college has software licenses for like Microsoft Project.

“My experience at the College has helped me gain more confidence and independence. The lecturers and college empower you to succeed with your disabilities, instead of succeeding despite your disabilities. There were times I struggled with the balance of managing my health and completing course work, but the lecturers always supported you where they could.

“During my time at the college, I have also had experience with Java, C++, C#, Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, and PHP. We have also been shown different examples of frameworks that are used in industry.

“I would recommend potential students to choose College as not only can you get a lot of practical experience, but smaller class sizes mean that there is more time for a lecturer to support you and other students. Due to my health, in high school I was on a part-time timetable. I feel that even though I developed a lot of skills in literacy, numeracy, problem solving, there were skills I was weaker in like communication and teamworking, and I think College gave me the chance to build them up. College can be a good stepping stone to University and I feel more prepared doing the four years rather than I would have been going straight to University after the NC course.”