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From Supported Learning to final year at university

Dylan Haywood’s journey with South & City College started in 2011, straight from leaving school. He is now in his final year of university and looking forward to a promising career in broadcasting and journalism. During a recent visit back to the college to talk to other students on a similar path, we caught up with Dylan to ask about his experiences studying with South & City.

Why did you apply to South & City College Birmingham?

“Although I am from Yardley, I attended Queensbury School in Erdington and felt the options for me to progress were limiting. I met a School Liaison Officer from South & City at a school careers fair. Up to that point, I wasn’t sure of my options after school. I explored the great range of courses and attended an open day having great discussions with tutors about my options; I felt South & City would open up opportunities for me.

I initially started on a Supported Learning course and being Autistic, I felt it was the right step to help me adjust to bigger class sizes, learning how to do assignments, and adjusting to new college routines. I had so much support from tutors that I was able to develop my confidence and skills leading to me looking at mainstream courses. The skills I learned on this course have not only helped me to set foundations for other courses, but I have also applied them to other life situations, such as managing change and also learning how to break tasks down and set manageable workloads.”

Tell us about your experiences of going into mainstream from Supported Learning

I moved from supported Learning to BTEC Extended Diploma in IT as I really enjoyed working with IT and felt it would give me a good foundation to progress on to my end goal of working in media.  The IT tutors made me feel so welcome; throughout the programme I had so much support that I was able to take up all opportunities in the college. For example, I went to Italy as part of the ERAMUS programme for two months. This opportunity changed my outlook in life especially as I worked in a local news station where I really affirmed working in media was my career ambition. I have also been on residential trips, gained employability skills with local employers, and supporting college events such as Skills Show.

After finishing my course in IT, I signed up for the HND in Media. It was a great course experience and has had great guest lecturers including Joanne Malin from the BBC. Similar to my other courses, I received great tutor support and built my employability skills with live projects for employers and communities.

I’m now in my final year at Birmingham City University.

What’s your advice for anybody looking to leave school?

I would recommend going to college, it changed me as a person. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the tutors and skills I learned throughout my time at college. I made so many friends and so many great experiences throughout my time here at South & City College Birmingham, I could have missed all of this if I stayed at school.