Programme Director, Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care, Canterbury Christ Church University
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When did you graduate and what degree did you complete?
I graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University in 2004 and completed the Shared Learning Programme. I achieved a first class degree with honours in Adult Nursing.
Tell us about your current role – what does it entail?
I am currently the Programme Director for the Foundation Degree in Health Care at Christ Church. You could say that I am truly ‘home-grown’ because I am a graduate of Christ Church and have returned ‘to the nest’ to work. The programme is designed for Health Care Assistants and Support Workers who wish to further their knowledge and education. It is a work-based learning programme which means that students are usually employed and working for the duration of their time at University. My role involves the day to day management of the programme from Inducting the new students, to organising timetables, through to acting as Deputy Chair for the board of examiners where awards are made. I also teach on the programme and my current subjects include: research methods; ethics and law; long term conditions and academic study skills.
What excites you most about your work?
I really value the impact that our programme has on students and this is the best part of my role. The programme can be transformative and we see students grow and flourish during their time with us. They start the programme full of self-doubt and lacking in confidence, but gradually over time they become self-assured, empowered and knowledgeable. Education is often described as a gift and I feel our students benefit so much from this gift.
What advice would you give students trying to get into your profession?
To work in Higher Education you need to have a passion for education and be prepared to engage with continuing development. You would need to get a good undergraduate degree and then experience in clinical practice. I completed my Masters Degree while working as a Nurse which has given me an ability to empathise with my current students who are both workers and learners. I also needed to achieve a postgraduate teaching qualification but fortunately I was able to do this once I started working at Christ Church.
In what ways did studying at Christ Church prepare you for your current role?
I always did love the academic work during my degree and it was the support and encouragement from the academic staff that motivated me to do well. I built professional relationships with the academic staff that lasted long after I graduated as a student.
Do you have a favourite memory of your time at Christ Church?
It is difficult to pinpoint as there were so many however my favourite memory is probably from my first week at Christ Church. It was such an exciting time and I was full of optimism for the opportunities that lay ahead of me. Going to University was such a pivotal moment, a milestone, an achievement that I will never forget.