Celebrating ten years of transforming lives through 'earn to learn' degree
Release Date 30 March 2015
The University of Reading has hosted a special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a degree which has transformed the lives of hundreds of people from the local community.
The Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning (FD) provides non-traditional learners with a chance to further their chosen career without giving up work. Parents or mature students have the opportunity to ‘earn as they learn' through weekly afternoon and evening lectures and the coursework based programme.
Over 350 people have graduated on the course. Students, who receive a 50% waiver in course fees over the two years of the award, attend the programme at one of three partner Colleges of Further Education: Berkshire College of Agriculture, Bracknell & Wokingham College and Newbury College.
On Monday 23 March University of Reading Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell joined FD graduates, current students and staff from the University's Institute of Education for a special event to mark the 10th anniversary.
Programme Director Teresa Wilson has been involved with the Foundation Degree since its inception in 2005. She said: "The University is proud to have offered the FD for over 10 years. Balancing work and family life with career progression can be a tough proposition. The course offers people flexibility combined with training of the highest quality. Many graduates have become Early Years Teachers, Nursery Managers or Higher Level Teaching Assistants in local schools.
"The celebration reminded me once again of the impact of this programme. Past and present students talked of the life changing career opportunities, the increased confidence and the lasting friendships that they have made since embarking on the FD. It's more than just a higher level qualification: it's an opportunity to develop in so many other ways too."
FD graduate Ashley Rodgers is currently a Family Support Worker for Barnardos Children's Centre, and completed her FD in 2013. She said: "I never thought I would have the opportunity to return to education, but the Foundation Degree gave me this. It was a great sense of achievement, particularly when balancing study with work and family. It was a wonderful support system and continues to be so now.
"I now have a greater understanding of how my practice impacts those I work with - both adults and children alike. Now as I'm completing the third year of studies, I'm looking to apply for a Masters after taking another year out."
For more information about enrolling on The Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning visit the course website