Starting college or further education studies
Preparing for further education
Preparing for college is an exciting time and can be made easier by thinking in advance about any extra support you might need in place.
We recommend concentrating on the following key areas:
- Choose the right course for you and your future career
- Visit various colleges to make an informed decision
- Consider your mobility and independent living skills
Choosing the right course
When considering different college and course options, it may be helpful to talk through your thoughts, expectations, personal wishes and goals with parents, friends and other people.
Your current school should also have a designated person who you can talk to about your education and career options. They can help you decide based on your current course choices and expected grades.
You may also like to consider:
- Where would you like to be at the end of your studies?
- Do you have an employment goal in mind?
- Will this course help you to achieve this ambition?
- What grades do you need to achieve to make your desired course choice a reality?
There will usually be more than one option available to you, which could include:
- Sixth form - If a sixth form is linked to your current secondary school, there should already be links in place which can support communication and help make the transition smooth
- College – These are usually separate from your school or in a different location, which means new communication links need to be made to make sure the staff are aware of your needs and how they can support you
Advance planning and good communication are the keys to a successful transition. In college or sixth form there is usually an expectation that you will be a more independent learner.
It is important that you visit all the colleges you are considering so you can make an informed choice.
During your visit to the college, you may want to arrange to meet some of the following key professionals and individuals and talk through your specific needs. The staff you want to meet may include:
- Student Services, including the Additional Learning Support team (ALS)
- A current student with a vision impairment
- Course leaders/personal tutors
- Staff at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), including IT support
Habilitation specialists may also be able to support you with a tour of your new college and help you learn specific routes around campus. To find out how to seek support from a habilitation specialist please contact us, or your local authority.