Choosing to study closer to home has proven a winning formula for Stockton Riverside College student Robson Leonard.
The 21-year-old has not only graduated with a first class honours degree but he also picked up his dream job along the way.
Now a lecturer in sport at SRC Bede Sixth Form in Billingham and assistant manager at the college’s SRC Sports Centre, it is no surprise he has become a bit of an advocate for studying higher education at college.
Currently working towards his PGCE, he said: “People always joke saying that I am never going to leave.” But having achieved his ambitions in just four years, like he says: “Why would I want to?”
Robson is among hundreds of students who choose to study higher education at Stockton Riverside College each year. Tomorrow evening (Wednesday 22nd Nov) the college is opening its doors to prospective students to show all of the higher education opportunities they have to offer.
With a wide range of foundation degrees, degree top-ups, and professional courses, as well as access to higher education programmes, many delivered in partnership with Teesside University, the college offers all the benefits of a university education in a college setting.
For Robson, who after completing his BTEC Level 3 in Sport moved on to an FdA in Sport and Fitness, he said: “There were loads of benefits, not least, being close to home.
“At first I didn’t realise you could study higher education at college but it worked out better for me. I knew the place, the staff and the teachers.” All of which, he said, helped to build his confidence.
“When I first started at the college I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was quite shy and hated talking to people I didn’t know.”
College-life changed all of that, to the point he would volunteer to shadow the lecturers and go on to want to be a teacher himself.
Topping up his qualification to a full degree with one year of study at Teesside University and with all of the relevant experience and knowledge, Robson was in a prime position when a job came up.
He said: “People often seem confused by foundation degrees and think there must be a catch, but there isn’t. Plus being in the college environment means you get that immediate contact with your tutors.”
Want to know more about the higher education opportunities available at Stockton Riverside College? Visit their open evening tomorrow at its campus on Harvard Avenue, Stockton, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
You can meet the teachers, have a look round and chat through your options.
For more details visit www.stockton.ac.uk/courses/higher-education/ or call the information team on 01642 865566.