High-fliers, who have secured their dream place at university, raised a glass to celebrate at Bath College’s annual Access to Higher Education awards ceremony.
The Access to Higher Education programme provides students with a nationally recognised qualification, allowing them to progress to university.
Seventy-three students have successfully completed their course and will progress to study a wide range of degrees at well-known universities across the country.
Students gathered in the Shrubbery Restaurant at Bath College to enjoy a glass of prosecco and collect their course certificates.
Staff chose Ellen Barce to receive the Roper Prize, presented to a student who has gone to exceptional lengths to complete their course.
Mrs Barce, from Paulton, will study adult nursing at the University of the West of England (UWE) in September.
She completed the access course at the same time as looking after her three children and working night hours in a care home.
The 42-year-old said: “It’s always been my ambition to become a registered nurse. I’ve worked in care for almost ten years.
“When my youngest daughter reached secondary school, this time she was the one pushing me saying ‘mum you can do what you want now’.
“This course taught me about time management, how to manage my family, work and study at the same time. It was a challenge, but it’s given me a big sense of achievement.
“I would always recommend this course because you meet some wonderful people. All the teachers are very supportive and the friends I’ve made here will be friends for life.”
Students on the access programme study for a diploma in either health and social care, education, science, humanities or social science.
Karla Cabot, from Frome, will study veterinary medicine in September and has been nominated for the Access to Higher Education award.
This will be handed out at Bath College’s Celebrating Success Awards ceremony at the Guildhall in the autumn.
Miss Cabot, 21, said: “When I was doing my A-levels I planned to do something like veterinary science as I’d always loved science.
“However, my mum was ill and I wasn’t able to finish them, which really knocked my confidence, so I didn’t think I’d ever get into veterinary.
“My friend Alexa and I met up last summer and it turned out we’d both been looking at the access course. This gave us both the encouragement to do it together and we’ve both really enjoyed the year.”
Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “What an amazing list of degrees that people are going onto.
“I have been at the college for nine years and throughout that time, I have always enjoyed coming to this particular awards ceremony.
“Students embark on this learning journey for the first time in years and, when they first start, they have this petrified look in their eyes.
“They get to this point and they have grown so much and become really confident learners. What we do at the college is absolutely fantastic, but I do think the access course really changes lives.”