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Northern Regional College Rekindles an Enthusiasm for Learning


Male student

Being a student at Northern Regional College helped rekindle his enthusiasm for learning, according to Ballyclare teenager, Daniel Trew. Daniel has just completed a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at the College’s Newtownabbey campus with a triple Distinction* - the equivalent standard of three A*s at A level - and has accepted a place to study Psychology at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

He said that after doing his GCSEs he felt he needed a change.  

“I wanted to streamline my interests and study something I enjoyed rather that doing A levels just to get the qualifications. I had lost my enthusiasm for studying at school but doing something I really enjoyed helped get it back.”

During his two years at the College, Daniel completed work placements in four different settings: a pprimary school, a dementia residential setting, a residential living facility for individuals with learning disabilities and a residential home, all of which helped shape his university choices and future career plans. 

Daniel, who is the primary carer for his mother and winner of an Inspirational Student of the Year Award at the end of his first year, said he would have no hesitation recommending the Level 3 Extended Diploma.

“It’s a great preparation for anyone thinking of going on to university. It involves a lot of independent study so my research skills have really improved and I know this will stand to me at university. There was also an opportunity to work together, both inside and outside of class, which was a big change from sitting and learning in a traditional classroom like at school.”

“The lecturers treat everyone with respect and kindness and I know the close relationship formed with them is something I will miss when I go to university.”

During his two years at the College, Daniel was elected at class rep and was instrumental in a fund raising drive for Assistance Dogs NI which raised over £1,100 for the charity.

Jacqui McAllister, Health and Social Care lecturer and course co-ordinator at the Newtownabbey campus said Daniel is to be commended for his commitment to his studies.

“Daniel is a highly respected member of the year group and he worked diligently to elevate the student experience throughout the virtual teaching period. Daniel demonstrated resilience and compassion under pressure and went far beyond the expected remit of his role as a class rep with extraordinary kindness and adaptability. I’m delighted with this results and wish him well in his Psychology career.