Former Access to HE Student Elizabeth Shipley

Access To HE Student Becomes Access To HE Lecturer

Hartlepool-born Elizabeth attended Brierton Community School and left to work in beauty therapy before going onto teach beauty at Hartlepool FE and then East Durham College. After having two children and turning 40, Elizabeth decided she wanted a change of career and decided to re-train as a midwife.

She said: “I had originally applied to Teesside University but a course requirement was that I had to have been in education or training within the past five years.

“I spoke to a friend in teaching and they recommended the Access to Higher Education course so I enrolled on it at East Durham College.”

The year-long course enabled Elizabeth to study modules in English, maths, biology and psychology as part of the Access to Higher Education Diploma.

Elizabeth added: “I started the course in 2002 and absolutely loved it, it was great to go back into education plus the teaching and course really suited me.

“I loved every second of it, I had no formal further education so this really helped with my writing and also prepared me perfectly for my future degree course.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Access to Higher Education course to anyone, it was the perfect stepping stone into university for me, the course even helped me to apply and secure my place.

“After then completing my three-year degree I became a midwife and practiced for nine years before being diagnosed with cancer in 2012.”

Faced with a choice of work after Elizabeth recovered, she decided to return to her teaching routes and teach the Access to HE Health Course itself.

She added: “I wanted to go back and continue doing something I was truly passionate about. The Access to Higher Education course had changed my life and I wanted to do the same for other students like me.

“It really means so much to me to be able to make that impact in a person’s life. I know what students are going through because I’ve been through it myself including all the pressures of children, work, etc.”

“Now instead of being a healthcare professional, I’m teaching the health professionals of the future.”

Click here for details on the college's Access to Higher Education programme or call our Student Services team on 0191 518 8222.