Graduates celebrate their achievement at Seevic College
Friday, 11 November 2016
Seevic College celebrated record-breaking results at the annual Graduation Ceremony as the percentage of students receiving first class honours degrees was the highest ever.
A total of 30 students graduated from the Early Years Foundation Degree and BA (Hons) Early Years & Education Studies (top-up), offered by the college at its campus in Runnymede Chase, Benfleet, in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire.
Both programmes are designed to develop an understanding of early year’s care, learning and development, developing graduates personally, professionally and academically.
The qualification can also be used to enable entry to postgraduate teaching qualifications.
The evening also saw speeches delivered by Dan Pearson, Principal of Seevic, Sal Jarvis, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education & Student Experience) at University of Hertfordshire plus Jan Burton, Head of Learning HE, Access and Adult at Seevic College.
In addition, special academic prizes were awarded to two graduates to celebrate their outstanding achievements.
Louise Phipps and Kerry Fletcher were winners of this year’s academic prizes for their achievements. Louise was praised for her “tenacity and determination” while Kerry was held up as a shining example for becoming “a positive role model and asset to the profession”.
Louise said: “Studying at Seevic was convenient for all of us - the course was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. We started apprehensive and unsure but willing to learn. The last two years have been the most memorable of our lives, we’ve learned valuable life skills and although we started as nervous individuals we’ve ended up as friends.
“We have struggled and felt the urge to give up but the support of our classmates, tutors family and friends kept us going.”
Dan Pearson, Principal of Seevic College, said: “I would like to congratulate all of our graduates on their achievements. They have shown determination in completing this qualification and getting to where they are now.
“The real learning starts now when you start the job with the young people whose lives you are going to affect.
“Studying for a degree at a Further Education college like Seevic means students can stay local and save money. It gives people who would otherwise be unable to study for a degree a chance to pursue their dreams. This opportunity is thanks to the strong partnership we have developed with the University of Hertfordshire which is one we hope to develop further.”
Sal Jarvis, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) at the University of Hertfordshire, speaking at the ceremony, said: “It is really great to be here and I am delighted to be one of the first to congratulate you on your achievements. I am also delighted to be in partnership with Seevic College, I am really proud of that collaboration.
“You will realise that learning isn’t something that ends when you finish your course, this qualification is something that you will build on for your future.”
Jan Burton, Head of Learning HE, Access and Adult, addressing the graduates and their guests, said: “Each and every one of you has risen to the challenges and moved forward in your degree and that is an absolute credit to you all.
“To get such fantastic results is a tremendous achievement. There have been tears, some of ours and some of theirs, but together we have managed to get to the end of the journey.”
Cllr Steve Cole, Mayor of Castle Point, attended the ceremony as a special guest of the college.
He added: “Seevic College is definitely becoming the number one college in Essex. It has got a fantastic choice and lecturers who are going out of their way all the time to make their students the best they possibly can be.”
Seevic first offered the Foundation Degree in Early Years in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire in 2008 and offered the BA Honours Top-up course for the first time in 2014.
In total, 18 students graduated from the Early Years Foundation Degree – three with distinction - and 12 from the BA (Hons) Early Years & Education Studies (top-up) – five with first class honours.
Seevic College offers Higher Education courses in Accounting, Art & Design, Business and Early Years.
Tutors representing all of the college’s Higher Education courses will be available at its next Open Evening on Tuesday 22 November, 5.30-8pm. Click here to find out more.
Graduate case studies
Charley Buck, 21, from Canvey received a first class honours degree in BA (Hons) Education Studies and Early Years. He stayed on at Seevic to continue studying after he completed his professional qualification so graduation marked his last visit to the college.
He said: “I feel really good, I have my own class now and I am doing a teacher training course. Seevic was really good,
"I have been here five years because I did a Level 3 Childcare qualification, then the Foundation Degree and then this. Now I’ve officially left!
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was in Year 5 at primary school. Now, I am working in a primary school now and I have my own class. I’m hoping to become a headteacher.
Rebecca Lack, 23, from Wickford, had a very eventful year which makes graduation from her BA (Hons) in Education Studies and Early Years even more impressive.
She fell pregnant with twins during her course and battled through severe morning sickness to continue her studies and gain her degree.
As well as welcoming her girls into the world 13 weeks ago, Rebecca also married her partner, Martin, in June this year.
She said: “It has all been a bit crazy. I got engaged when I started the course and we started wedding planning. Then I found out I was expecting. We got married on the 18th of June and my girls arrived on the 11th of August.”
Speaking during the ceremony, she added: “Today we close the door on the past and open the door to the future. Congratulations graduates – we made it! I would like to say how lucky we are to have a course so local to us. Without such wonderful teaching and support staff this course would not be the same.”
Louise Phipps, 24, from Canvey, completed a sports degree at Writtle College before changing her career path and coming to Seevic to complete a Foundation Degree in Early Years. Right from the start of the course, she worked hard to make up lost ground and sought employment in the sector.
She said: “I was very emotional when I heard I had won the academic prize and incredibly proud.
"As soon as she announced it was for someone with a sports background I realised she meant me and I started crying.
“I did sport, to begin with but realised it was not what I wanted to do. I did a week’s work experience at a nursery and absolutely loved it so I came here to study.”