Student Success Stories - Stepheni Kays, Rhys Williams, Elaine Speyer and Cheryl Havard

Take a look at Stepheni Kays, Rhys Williams, Elaine Speyer and Cheryl Havard's Part-time Humanities Degree student success stories

Elaine Speyer cropped..First Class Honours Graduate Co-Authors Research Report While Studying Part-time

Elaine Speyer, age 30, graduated from the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE), Swansea University in July 2016 with a First class Honours Degree. Elaine had always wanted to study for a degree and shortly after her son was born she read in a local community magazine that DACE offered a Part-time Degree Programme. This really appealed to Elaine because of the timings of the classes and the fact that the courses were offered at community venues. ‘The flexibility made it a very convenient way to study for a degree, especially as I was a young mum of one’.

‘I really enjoyed the Psychology, Social History, American Politics modules which I studied at community venues throughout Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.  During the last few years, I purposely chose the evening classes to fit in around my full time job.’

‘Studying for the degree has changed my life.  I can’t put into words the difference it has made. It has really raised my confidence and opened so many doors for me. It has given me direction and I am very proud of my achievements. Learning is a great way to change your life. It has also made me question things rather than take things at face value. It’s helped me to see things from a different angle and look for evidence rather than just taking things for granted.’

‘All of the tutors were very supportive and it was such a great way to study because of the nurturing and caring environment. This really helped me overcome my nerves. When I first started it was very daunting returning to study as an adult but then I realised that all of the students were in the same boat and the support from staff made a big difference.’

Elaine’s studies have also had a considerable impact on her career. ‘I started working in administration for Barnardo's; I took minutes of meetings and then a post for a Research Assistant internship became available and I really wanted to apply for it! I was a bit hesitant but I mentioned that I was interested and soon after the position was offered to me as a full-time role on the condition that I continue with my degree studies. I love the work that I do and I wouldn’t have got this job if it hadn’t been for the degree.’

Elaine has recently co-authored a key research report which was published externally by Barnardos and was even featured on the Welsh news. She continues to assist with research reports for her role as well as consultation responses to the Welsh government.

‘It’s been a busy few years so I’m going to take some time to think about my future. I’m aware that there are PhDs which include a Masters in Research Methods so I’m planning to have a break and consider my future study options.’  

Congratulating Elaine on her achievement, Head of the Department of Adult Continuing Education at Swansea University Professor Colin Trotman said: “Elaine is an outstanding adult student who has successfully managed her studies alongside her work and family commitments.  She is to be congratulated on her achievements and I wish her every success for the future.”

  

First Class Honours Graduate aspires to work for the United Nations

Stepheni Kays

Stepheni Kays aged 42, graduated with a First Class BA Honours Humanities Degree from the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE) at the University’s Degree and Award Congregations today (18 July).

This is a major achievement for any individual. However this is especially so in Stepheni’s case as she only moved to Wales in 2008, leaving her native Africa, her husband and her children behind.

Committed to making the most of the opportunities available to her she embarked upon her studies with dogged determination. Originally studying at the Action Resource Centre (ARC) in Blaenymaes, Swansea, Stepheni exceled as a student and decided to enrol on the Part-time BA (Honours) Humanities Degree.

Reunited with her family, studying Sociology and Psychology in community venues in Swansea and at Swansea University Singleton Campus, Stepheni successfully juggled her degree with full-time work. Following graduation in July she plans to continue her studies with Swansea University and study for a MA in Development and Human Rights. Her dream job would be working for the United Nations.

Stepheni believes the degree has developed her skills, knowledge and confidence: “studying was not just about me, it was about everyone around me. The degree is flexible and versatile and can open doors for you. The DACE system helps you achieve; I cannot say enough about the staff. They really want you to succeed and do well. When something good happens to you like DACE you just can’t keep quiet about it!”

Congratulating Stepheni on her achievement, Head of the Department of Adult Continuing Education at Swansea University Professor Colin Trotman said: “Stepheni is an inspirational student who has demonstrated commitment and dedication throughout her degree studies. She is to be congratulated for her achievements and I wish her every success for the future.”

 

Inspiring Mother of Three Rewarded with a First Class Honours Degree

Thirty five year old, mother of three, Cheryl Havard graduated with a First Class BA Honours Humanities Degree from the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE) at the University’s Degree and Award Congregations today (18 July).

Cheryl Havard

When her youngest daughter was eighteen months old, Cheryl attended taster sessions organised by DACE at Clase Family Centre.  “I really enjoyed the tasters, and the tutor encouraged me to apply for the Prepare for Higher Education Programme.” Cheryl successfully completed this programme and enrolled on the Part-time Humanities Degree.

Cheryl, from Swansea, undertook all of her degree studies at community venues in the Swansea area, and studied Sociology, Psychology and History. “The locations and timings were really convenient alongside my family commitments.  I became a Class Representative and I am also a Student Ambassador where I often speak to prospective students about my positive learning experience as an adult community student with DACE.”

Cheryl is a positive role model to her family and has even inspired her sister Marie to enrol on the Part-time Degree.

In 2011, Cheryl was delighted to receive recognition for her studies from the NIACE Dysgu Cymru when she was awarded a Highly Commended Adult Learner Award. As well as this, both Cheryl and her sister Marie received a Highly Commended Family Learning Award in 2013.

Cheryl’s studies do not stop here as during September she is very excited to commence a Master’s Degree in Social Research Methods with the School of Human and Health Sciences.

Congratulating Cheryl on her achievement, Head of the Department of Adult Continuing Education at Swansea University Professor Colin Trotman said: “Cheryl is an outstanding adult student who has successfully managed her studies alongside her family commitments.  She is to be congratulated on her achievements and I wish her every success for the future."

 

Inspirational Father Gains a First Class Honours Degree

 

 Rhys Williams...

                    

Rhys Williams is 33 years old and graduated in July with a first class BA Honours Degree in Humanities undertaken at the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE), Swansea University. Rhys had always wanted to study for a degree but at the age of eighteen decided to seek employment instead.  A few years later, Rhys’s wife, who was studying for a PhD at Swansea University, picked up a brochure advertising the courses offered by DACE and encouraged Rhys to apply to study for the part-time degree.

The flexibility of the part-time degree really appealed to Rhys. All other part-time courses he’d considered involved full days of study during the week which was not practical with his work commitments and family life. Rhys has two young children so managing his studies with family life and a full time job was challenging at times, especially as he had to work a six day week in the final years, but he feels it has all been worth it.

“I studied on campus as the evening courses were the most convenient for me to fit in around work and family life. I studied Philosophy, Counselling, Sociology and Psychology.”

“The degree course has taught me a lot and I have gained many skills. For example, I would describe myself as being very opinionated but through the course of my studies I have learned to be more tolerant of the views of others and to sit back and let them have their say even if I don’t agree with what they are saying. Another thing I’ve learned is to question everything. In school I would have just accepted things without thinking about it but now I question things a lot more.”

“The support I received, from both fellow students and the tutors, while undertaking my studies was really good. I became quite friendly with people from completely different backgrounds who I never would have met before. The tutors were brilliant too, they were always there to give advice and offer help.”

“Now that I’ve finished I’m excited about the future possibilities. I’m going to start looking into post graduate schemes and have a chat with the careers guidance officer about future options.”

“If there is anyone out there thinking about studying for a degree part-time, I would say do it. Go along to open days and have a look around the department and meet the staff.”

Take a look at our Part-time Degree Graduation video on: https://youtu.be/TGBdLrHdw4M

 

For more infomation on the Part-time Humanities Degree Programme, please contact 01792 295499 / 602211 j.p.brown@swansea.ac.uk

To view the Part-time Humanities Degree Programme Brochure click here: BA Humanities Degree Brochure 2016

For more Swansea University student success stories visit: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/graduation/student-success/