South West College Graduate Celebrates First-Class Success

South West College Graduate Celebrates First-Class Success
August, 2021
High achieving local man Ciaran McKerr from Lurgan, has graduated with First-Class Honours in the Ulster University BSc (Hons) in Social Work. Ciaran hailed South West College for their outstanding support, expressing that it has made an enormous difference to his life and career prospects.
Following two successful years studying at South West College (SWC) Ciaran completed his programme at Ulster University’s Magee Campus.
Like many, Ciaran left school feeling uncertain about what his future held. It was when he commenced full-time employment as a Social Work Assistant that his compassionate nature, alongside his strength for working with people, led him to pursue higher education within the field, via an Adult Access course in ‘Social Sciences and Humanities.’ Determined to succeed, Ciaran studied at Southern Regional College’s Newry Campus part-time over two years. This blended approach allowed him to earn, learn and gain practical experience paving the way for him to advance into Higher Education.
Colleagues within Ciaran’s field spoke positively and passionately about the range of accredited higher-level courses and professional development opportunities at South West College.  As a result, Ciaran transitioned to an Ulster University BSc Honours in Social Work at South West College. Rising to the challenge, Ciaran excelled within his studies and practice placement.
Ciaran said: “I had a superb experience at South West College. The reduced numbers complemented my learning style and the smaller class numbers provided a platform for active engagement in-class debates and discussions, enhancing my learning experience. The lecturers were very knowledgeable and had great Social Work experience, which they engaged and conveyed expertly, helping link academic study to work practice perfectly. The staff at South West College were accommodating and went out of their way to support students fostering a culture of continual learning and development that helped students thrive.”   
Ciaran gained a range of personal and professional attributes from his time at South West College, and successfully completed his final year at Ulster University Magee accomplishing top classification. Ciaran was delighted and praised South West College for their consistent support helping him prosper both within his studies and within his profession.  
He said: “I have successfully graduated with a First-Class Honours in Social Work. Subsequently, I have been offered a permanent Social Work contract within the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. I would like to express my gratitude to South West College and the lecturers in particular Louise Mc Stravick and Mary Leonardo who supported me and believed in me as they played a significant role in helping me achieve this.”   
Ciaran hopes to continue progressing within his field and aspires to complete his AYE Band 5 (Assessed year in practice) in July 2021 and therefore commence his Band 6 Social Work role in July 2022.
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