Darlington College launches Distance Learning initiative

Pictured: Progression Coach in Hair and Beauty Gemma Spensley, volunteer student support Ayisha Mahama, ALS team leader Bob Simpson, Distance Learning Administrator Katy Davies and Distance Learning and Quality Partnership Officer Stephanie Giacomelli.

LEARNERS are being offered an innovative new way to study with a free and flexible approach to gaining qualifications.

Darlington College has launched its Distance Learning initiative allowing anyone to gain fully accredited level 2 qualifications in their own time and from the comfort of their own home.

The free courses for learners, aged over 19, who already hold a level 2 qualification, are fully funded by the government’s adult education budget.

Darlington College learning and quality officer Stephanie Giacomelli said: “We initially launched our internal Distance Learning programme in spring 2018 and to date have had 50 people choose to up-skill their qualifications through the scheme.

“Anyone looking to gain a new qualification, but who doesn’t have the time to attend college, can arrange their studies around their work and family life.”

Darlington College currently offers 13 courses, including heath and social care, business administration, retail and personal development, with study completed through the on-line management system Equal Platform.

Learners study at their own pace with courses ranging from three to 13 units, which can be completed in a minimum of 18 weeks.

Individual tutors are allocated, with communication taking place remotely through online computer, tablet or phone devices and units marked by external professional assessors affiliated to Darlington College.

Volunteer student support worker Ayisha Mahama has progressed to study a foundation degree in counselling after taking a Distance Learning course.

“I wanted to study counselling but as I volunteer at the college through the day and work at night I needed to be able to fit learning in around my life.

“Distance Learning was flexible and free and now I have the skills to enable me to complete my level 3 qualification and realise my passion of working with young people by pursuing a foundation degree course in September.”

If successful, the external Distance Learning programme will expand the number of courses to include level 3 qualifications in the future.

The Distance Learning team will be available to answer any questions at Darlington College’s open evening on January 24 from 5.30 – 7.30pm.

For further information contact Distance Learning administrator Katy Davis on (01325) 503126 or visit www.darlington.ac.uk.

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