How to choose a college [GUIDE] 19/05/2020

As much as we’d love for you to find your place at #TeamKC, sometimes that might not be the case. We’re not here to convince you to come and join us, we’re here to help you make a pretty difficult, big decision and be confident in the choice you’ve made!

FIRST OFF, RESEARCH!

Find out as much as you can college life can be quite different from secondary school and the education you’ve known so far, so it pays to do a bit of research to find the right fit for you. You need to have a good think about what you want your next step to look like; what are your passions, career ideas, all of that

You can check out our ONLINE CAREER COACH for some inspo if you want! Or have a word with your school’s Career Advisor; we’re in constant contact with them so they’ll show you what sort of courses we have to offer!

You also need to think about travel; do you want to stay local or travel further afield? Can you handle the early rises if you decide to go somewhere that’s further away? Make a note of everything, it’s sometimes easier to make a decision when it’s all on paper!

BTECS OR A-LEVELS

That’s the golden question!

A-Levels have been around a lot longer than BTEC’s, and are generally more academically based…if you know you want to be a Doctor or have an idea of a career that is more theoretically based, then A-Levels are the right route for you. 

A-Levels focus on academic, classroom-based learning with written exams at the end, which, although seen as a traditional path, is not something that suits everyone nor is necessarily the optimum route into your chosen career. We all learn differently and we all want different outcomes for our future after all!

Here at KC, we specialise in vocational courses and BTEC’s. Rather than choosing three subject areas, BTEC’s and vocational courses allow you to specialise in one area; this means that you will get devoted time, expertise and industry knowledge on that one subject that sparks your interest; giving you the ultimate edge when it comes to seeking employment. 

BTEC’s combine practical learning alongside theory; so they’re perfect if you have a more hands-on approach to learning. You can check out our guide to all the different levels HERE

And, despite what you may have heard, BTEC’s are a sure fire way to get into University! (KC run HND and Degree level courses, so if that’s the route you’d decide to take, we’ve got you!) 

STAY AT SIXTH FORM OR HEAD TO COLLEGE

Sixth Form’s are great; you already know everyone, you’re used to your routine, you know the building…it’s a safe bet, and if that’s you for you, ace. 

Choosing to go to a college changes things; it’s your first step to being independent, you’ll meet new people, join a new community, get a change in scenery and get ahead with learning valuable skills and confidence for when you take your next step! Deciding to go to an FE (Further Education) College basically means that you take more responsibility for yourself and your learning, which sets a great groundwork for your future!

College is also a lot less formal than a sixth form: you’re likely to be on first name terms with most of the staff, whatever their age, and it’s unlikely there will be any dress code – definitely not a school uniform – depending on what subject you take at #TeamKC will depend if you have a uniform, so for example, our Dance students all have IGNITE DANCE hoodies, our Hair & Beauty Students all have their salon uniform

Kidderminster College is a lot smaller than some other college’s out there, which means we’re able to support you and get to know you as an individual, you won’t get lost in the cracks. 

HEAD TO AN OPEN EVENING

Now, given current circumstances, that’s a little hard at the moment. KC have three Open Evenings during the academic year; one in October, one in November and one in February. Currently, we’re hosting virtual events, with pre-recorded video tours and bookable slots so you can chat with our tutors on the night.

We’ve made a small video that gives you a feel of what it’s like to wander around KC, which you can check out HERE

Back to the point though; virtually visit the college and try and get an idea of what it’s like there. And virtually visit as many as you want; compare the feel of each college, the facilities, the staff. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable, that you get the right feeling when you walk through the doors. Attending college is all on you, and if you don’t like the building or the people in it, chances are you won’t want to go and that’s counterproductive really isn’t it? 

KC normally have a huge schedule of shows throughout the year, and we always recommend you come a long to a few performances and bring your family so they can have a nose around too! We’re hoping to begin broadcasting these live soon!

TALK TO THE STAFF, THE STUDENTS AND YOUR FAMILY

It might seem a bit daunting at first, but have a chat with the tutors and the students at the Open Evening! Here at KC, we’re offering 1-2-1 bookable slots, so grab one ASAP, as they’re first come, first served! Our staff, tutors and students know the place best after all, and it gives you a good idea of the sort of people you’ll be taught by and sharing the college with! 

We also recommend having a chat with a loved one; which college you decide to go to is totally up to you, but it’s worth hearing and weighing up someone else’s opinion.

IS FE FOR YOU?

Ask yourself the following questions:-

  • Are you ready for a change from school?
  • Are you after some independence?
  • Can you manage your own time effectively (or learn to)?
  • Is the vocational route for you?
  • Are you ready to focus on one subject area?

If you’ve answered yes to one or more, you should definitely check out going to an FE College! Make a list of all the colleges you like the look of, note down their Virtual Open Evenings or Days and log on to have an online look around!

Also, make sure you check out what our past students have gone to do over on our SUCCESS STORIES

YOU DO YOU

At the end of the day, you need to do you. Not what your friends want, sometimes not even what your parents want. You need to make the choice for you. Which can be a little scary. But it’s totally worth it! And here at KC, we’ll support you every step of the way! 

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