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>Samantha Web

Adult student, Samantha, from Prescot, has returned to College to pursue her passion for art, after taking a 15 year break from education to raise her children.

Samantha initially studied art and design straight from high school, saying, “I actually completed my first year of the course but then discovered I was pregnant, so I was unable to enrol for the second year. Now that my children are older, this is my time to come back and follow my passion.”

Samantha enrolled on to the Access to HE: Art and Design course, benefiting from a one year fast track, that provides a full insight into a range of creative arts from photography to fine art painting. Samantha says, “I have always had an interest in art and really enjoy creating and exploring different forms, and this course has provided the perfect opportunity for me to rediscover my passion for it.”

After seeking advice from St Helens College’s Student Finance Adviser, Samantha has been able to fund her studies with an Advanced Learner Loan, which means upon completion of a degree, she does not have to repay the outstanding loan.

The 30-year-old mum credits her current positive progress to her tutors, saying, “The amazing support and encouragement that they provide is incredible – and they are always accessible and approachable.”

She adds, “An interesting highlight of the course so far has been exploring photography – a medium that I didn’t have much knowledge of when I first started the course, but I’ve really enjoyed learning different techniques, especially having the opportunity to develop my own prints in the College’s darkroom.”

Now approaching the end of her course, Samantha has secured a place at University Centre St Helens, studying BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, with the aim of progressing on to a PGCE to become a Teacher.

Reflecting on her experience on the course, Samantha says, “It was great to be able to come back and finish what I had started all those years ago! The tutor and peer support is great, with the added benefit of studying close to home, so that I can continue to work on the weekends and look after my family.”

For further information about the Art and Design courses we have on offer, visit our Art and Design section. Alternatively, visit one of our upcoming Adult Enrolment and Information Events.