Student praises college for support with neurodiversity

A Dumfries and Galloway College student has praised staff for their help and support after recently graduating from the South of Scotland education establishment.

Anita Hall, from Dumfries — a neurodiverse student who completed her Business Administration SVQ at SCQF Level 6 at DGC — thanked college staff for helping her achieve her goal and for also allowing her to find the ideal “learning style”.

The student worked in the Covid Test and Protect Team when she began the SVQ qualification, before moving back to her previous role as an AHP (Allied Health Professions) Assistant Practitioner in the NHS. They supported Anita by allowing time to dedicate to completing her qualification, which along with the support and guidance from the college, was a huge help as she passed the course in style.

Anita struggled to put pen to paper to begin with and her Assessor, Andrea Muir, recognised this and adapted the standard assessment methods and the entire way she worked with Anita to enable her to get the best out of the course and overcome the obstacles of learning.

The delighted student said the course helped her recognise her individual learning technique and she has a new-found confidence thanks to understanding more about the best way she can work and learn.

Anita said: “The biggest thing I took from the experience was a sense of achievement and the realisation of my learning style, which will enable me to work better in all areas of my job.

“Now I’ve realised my style, it is also easier to communicate this to others. Understanding it and being open about it helped me to achieve my SVQ.

If it wasn’t for my Assessor, Andrea, I’d never have completed my course.

Andrea Muir, Work Based Assessor and Internal Verifier, said: “Scottish vocational qualifications are entirely work based and support is given by the Assessor on a one-to-one basis. This worked exceptionally for Anita and allowed me to focus entirely on how best to deliver the qualification to suit Anita’s learning requirements.

“Working with nationally set standards, I knew exactly what I needed as evidence from Anita’s work in practice. It was clear from discussions with Anita that this evidence was there. 

“My role was to determine what assessment methods to use and how to adapt these to fit with Anita’s learning style which would allow me to demonstrate the criteria being met.

“The use of online facilities such as screen sharing has been invaluable, such progress in technology has helped me support the college’s ambition to reduce our carbon footprint with a huge reduction in travel.”

Lynsey Fitzpatrick, Equality and Diversity Lead, NHS D&G, said: “I’m delighted for Anita that she has been successful in achieving this SVQ.

“The flexibility offered by Dumfries and Galloway College demonstrates the importance and value in providing a person-centred approach to learning.

“This allows students the opportunity to work towards achieving their full potential.”