Hearsay, rumour, fake news… Who knows how or why people come to think the way they do. Let it be stated right here, that the following popular beliefs are phonus balonus...
Myth #1 College is just like school
Nope. Coming to college is very different. Ask anyone. For one, you don’t have to wear a uniform and for another you can call your lecturers by their first names, which they will like.
There are many other distinctions but the key one is that college offers a much more varied range of courses. Instead of A-Levels we offer Diplomas, Apprenticeships, degrees, HNC courses, NVQs, professional qualifications. Whether you’re practically minded or academic or like a bit of both in your studies, we have the course for you.
I just want to do what I want to do
Happy days… College allows you to focus on just one subject you love. So if you want to be a forensic scientist, you can study forensic science; if you want to be a bricklayer, you can study that too, and if you want to work on the west end stage, our musical theatre course is just the ticket.
Alongside that lot you will pick up other qualifications like maths and English GCSEs which practically every job anywhere demands.
Myth #2 Only people who can’t do A Levels come to college...
...And there you have the greatest myth of them all.
The truth of course is that the only people who come to college are those who want to. And among them are very many people who in fact chose not to do A-Levels.
Why is that so? The courses we offer enable you to immerse yourself in depth in the subject you love, rather than studying a more general programme. That’s a good alternative to A-Levels because it gives you a head start, if say you want to go straight into work on an Apprenticeship or higher Apprenticeship, equally it gives you an advantage in many other subjects if you’ve already achieved a great deal more, or built up a portfolio of work.
Even if you didn’t get the grades to do A-Levels at school or sixth form, college gives you a chance to start a diploma at a level that suits you – before you know it you’ll have progressed onto a higher level possibly equivalent to an A-Level programme.
Myth #3 But if I can’t do A-Levels does that mean I won’t be able to go to uni?
Absolutely not. A level 3 Diploma is worth up to 420 UCAS points, which is the equivalent to 3 A* A-Levels. And universities like college students.
Last year nearly 400 of our students went to leading universities including Cambridge, Durham and York. Not surprising, as Universities love students from West Suffolk College – the work is impressive, the people are more experienced, more confident and better able to adapt to university study having been through college.
Myth #4 I just want to get a job, coming to college is more time wasted
You couldn’t be more wrong. The time you spend here will in fact save you time by preparing you for work better than starting the job unqualified. It will also enable you to progress further and faster than unqualified people, whatever their experience.
Apprenticeships have also been shown to give you an advantage over graduate trainees – you spend more time in the business so learn more quickly how business works.