10 top tips on choosing the right college for you

From graduate prospects to teaching quality, take a look at SoGlos’s 10 top tips on finding the right college for you – in this hot list sponsored by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

Heading off to college to expand your skills and learn a new subject is an exciting prospect. But with so many institutions in Gloucestershire and beyond to choose from, knowing which one is the best one for you can be tricky.

In this hot list, sponsored by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, SoGlos shares 10 tips to help you decide which college to choose.

About the sponsor — South Gloucestershire and Stroud College

South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, offers a wide range of vocational and academic courses in a range of subjects, taught both online and in-person, when allowed once more – with the Stroud School of Art celebrating its 160 year anniversary this summer.

SGS will be hosting a virtual open day on Saturday 23 January 2021 from 10am to 1pm, so anyone looking to expand their knowledge and develop new skills can get a feel for the college safely from home.

For more information, visit sgscol.ac.uk.

1. Quality of teaching

With colleges offering a variety of courses and subjects to study, it is important that those providing the teaching are experts in their field.

One way in which SGS ensures this is by employing tutors who have industry experience that they can share with their students.

2. Experience and expertise

Similarly, the institution that you choose to study at should be one of the leading figures in its chosen field, offering students expertise, knowledge and experience.

SGS’s Art School has been a key part of the local community for many years. Celebrating its 160th anniversary this summer, it has established itself as a leader in its field and has undoubtably helped shape the creative nature of the region.

3. The college’s facilities

With so many colleges and universities for students to choose from, one way to decide if it’s the right place for you is to compare the facilities.

Are the facilities the most up to date? Do they have all the equipment and resources that you will need? You can find the majority of this information on the college’s website, or take a look for yourself at an open event.

4. Student satisfaction

One of the most valuable things to consider when choosing the right college is how much you’ll enjoy the experience.

Which? Uni Guide surveys thousands of students to assess how satisfied they are with their studying experience before then providing a satisfaction score out of 100. SGS, for example, has a student satisfaction score of 94 per cent.

5. Graduate prospects

Getting in touch with college alumni and finding out where students have gone on to after college is a great way to find out what prospects will be available to you after studying there — look out for alumni who have gone on to develop in areas you’re looking to move into.

6. The range of courses on offer

A college that offers a diverse range of courses will provide you with the opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills and gain qualifications that are relevant to you.

SGS offers a wide range of full-time courses, apprenticeships, higher education and part-time courses, with everything from business entrepreneurship to music.

7. Academic results

Looking at a college’s track record of results is one way to establish how well students have performed in the past and give an indication of the kind of results you could achieve if you choose to study there.

8. Flexibility

Everyone is different and how one person chooses to study may not work for another. That’s why one tip on whether a college is right for you is to check how flexible the courses are.

At SGS there are multiple courses available and a variety of different ways in which these can be taught — including virtual teaching.

9. Extra-curricular activities

Of course, student life isn’t just about working hard in the classroom, it’s also about enjoying a variety of extra-curricular activities with fellow students, when we are allowed to do so – from joining a sports team to starting a book club.

See what clubs and societies are available at your college of choice, so you’ve got plenty of opportunities to socialise, make friends and meet like-minded people.

10. Communication between students and tutors

Being able to discuss topics with both tutors and other students is important when studying – especially at the moment when we are unable to attend colleges and universities in person.

A college prospectus often details how much contact time students are offered as well as opportunities to engage with other students and teachers. Check out what access you’ll have when remote-learning too, to keep that feeling of community and connection even when you’re not in the classroom together.

For more information about South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, visit sgscol.ac.uk.

By Maddy Richards

© SoGlos
Tuesday 19 January 2021

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